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of the 

Skron be SJtenebal 


Presented to the 


by the 



U'"« L < 

^ , ipRARY. C 4 
AUG 30 1898 


VOL. Ill 



N . 




From 1802 to 18 15 











Authorized Edition. 

1 3 <b 4>V 





From 1802 to 1815. 

The Emperor, His Wife, and His Son — The Imperial Omelette — Early 
Morning Walks— Portrait of the Emperor — Supreme Object of His Ambition — 
Injustice of Those Who have Accused Him — Impetus Given by Him to the 
Century in Which He Lived — Proposed Meeting of German Sovereigns at 
Dresden — Desire of the Empress to See Her Family Again There — The Pope 
at Fontainebleau — M. de Montholon at Wurtzburg — His Marriage — His 
Recall —Journey to Dresden Put Off; the Reason Why — The Regulations 
for the Service During the Absence of the Emperor — Departure of Their 
Majesties for Dresden — Description of the Stay of Napoleon in that Capital — 
Return of M. de Narbonne from Vilna — Hostile Attitude of the Emperor 
Alexander — General Neipperg Appointed in the Suite of the Emperor of 
Austria — Departure of the Emperor for the Army — Triumphal Journey of 
the Empress Marie Louise to Prague — Her Letter to the Emperor's Mother — 
The Emperor Reviews His Army — Proclamation — The Niemen Crossed — 
The Villa Crossed — What Has Been Written on the Campaign in Russia — 
Mission of the Russian General Balakoff to Vilna — Polish Deputation 
Presented to the Emperor — Definite Promise Asked of Him — His Answer 
Misinterpreted — Instructions Given to Abbe de Pradt — The Ambassador 
Acting Contrary to His Instructions— Disastrous Results which Follow — 
Insults and Calumnies of this Prelate — The Vilna Provisional Government — 
Guards of Honour — Due de Bassano, Governor of Lithuania — Crown Prince 
of Wurtemberg Reproached with the Excesses Committed by His Troops — ■ 
The Emperor Napoleon's Magnanimity — Habits and Occupations of Napoleon 
when at Headquarters and when Travelling — His Familiarity with the Soldiers — 
His Benevolence to Officers — Injustice of the Reproaches of Prevarication in the 
Despatch of Orders Addressed to the Major-General— The March on Vitepsk 
and on Smolensk— Bechen-Kowitzki Castle — Idea of Staying at Vitepsk Given 
up — Napoleon's Clever Manoeuvre — Same Resolution at Smolensk as at Vitepsk — 
Young Marbeuf Killed in the Fight at Krasnoi — Letter of the Emperor to 
this Officer — Details — Fight at Valoutina — General Junot's Inaction — Death 
of General Gudin— Arrival on the Battle-field of Moskova — Portrait of the 
King of Rome Received on the Eve of the Battle — Battle of Moskova — 
The Emperor Absolved from the Reproach of Not Having Engaged His 
Guards — The Emperor's Voice is Affected — Entry into Deserted Moscow — 
The Kremlin— Beginning of the Fire— Incendiaries Left at Moscow by the 

2 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Governor — General Conflagration — Governor Rostopchin — The Fire Reaches 
the Kremlin — Temporary Retreat to Petrowskoi Castle — Return to the Burning 
City — The Emperor's Solicitude for the Wounded Men, whether French or 
Russian, for the Inhabitants, and for Charitable Institutions — Guard of the 
City Confided to M. de Lesseps — Abundant Supplies Found in the Cellars 
of the Houses Burnt Down — Daily Reviews and Parades — Care Which Had 
to be Taken to Supply All the Wants of the Army — Transaction of Admin- 
istrative Business — Wounded Men Sent Away — Military Memoirs of the 
Campaign of Charles XII. in Russia — Rostopchin's Palace Preserved — Political 
Memorandum Found in this Palace — Confusion Produced at St. Petersburg 
by the Fall of Moscow — No Answer to the Letter of Napoleon to Alexan- 
der — Unexpected Attack on Our Outposts — Departure from Moscow — Order 
to Blow up the Fortifications of the Kremlin— Battle of Malojaroslavetz — 
Party of Cossacks Attempt to Carry off the Emperor — Disgrace of General 
Baraguay-d'Hilliers— Daring Expedition by General Roguet — Two French 
Army Corps Cut Off by the Russians — Death of M. de Villeblanche — 
Retrograde March of the Emperor to Free his Rear-guard — Marshal Ney 
Separated from the Army — This Marshal's Heroic Retreat — The Emperor's 
Joy when he Reappeared — The Emperor's Horses and Carriages Used 
for Carrying the Wounded— His Letter to Marshal Mortier — Prince Beauvau's 
Two Sons. 

THE atmosphere of the Court, the habit which 
Marie Louise had of living familiarly with the 
Emperor, who paid her a great deal of attention, 
treated her with simple and affectionate manners, and 
often amused her with a gaiety which was often 
animated, had caused this princess to forget the stiffness 
and reserve which she owed to her natural timidity at 
the time of her arrival in France. Her bearing 
became easy; she had become somewhat less stout, 
and her figure, which was of perfect symmetry, had 
very much improved. Fine eyes, full of sweetness, 
and a beautifully fresh complexion gave to her face 
an agreeable expression, and rendered the ensemble of 
her person both noble and graceful. 

Weighed down by duties and cares on the eve of 
a rupture with Russia, the Emperor's time was taken 
up with the multifarious occupations of his cabinets, with 
reviews, and with the work of his ministers. It was 
only with his wife and his son that he found agreeable 
relief from so much fatigue. The little leisure which his 


affairs left him in the day-time was spent with his 
son, whose tottering steps it pleased him to guide 
with quite a womanly care. The frequent falls of 
this cherished child when they had not been prevented 
were greeted with caresses and loud shouts of 
laughter by his father. The Empress, who used to be 
present at these family scenes, did not take so active 
a part in them as the Emperor. These three persons, 
whose simplicity might have led one to forget their 
greatness, offered the spectacle of a middle-class family 
attached to each other by the fondest affection. Who 
could then have thought of the fate which was reserved 
to them ? 

This great man, whom so many prejudiced or 
mistaken minds have been pleased to represent as 
being inaccessible to any tender sentiment, was both 
a good husband and an excellent father; never did 
the Empress find in him the censor of her innocent 
whims. The following anecdote, which Marie Louise 
used to be fond of calling to mind, shows the good 
nature of Napoleon in this respect. The remembrance 
of a taste, which she had acquired in the very homely 
sort of life she had led when quite a girl, inspired 
one day the Empress with a desire to make an 
omelette herself, and she had had all the necessary 
ingredients brought into her apartment. Whilst com- 
pletely taken up with her very important culinary 
operation, the Emperor entered without having been 
announced, either by chance, or because he had heard 
from some officious person what was going on, and 
wanted to have the pleasure of surprising Marie 
Louise. The latter, somewhat upset by this unexpected 
visit, endeavoured to prevent Napoleon from seeing 

4 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

what she was preparing-. ""What is going on here?" 
asked the Emperor. " There is a singular smell, as if 
something was being fried ! " Then, stepping behind 
the Empress, he discovered the spirit lamp, the 
silver frying-pan in which the butter was beginning 
to melt, the salad-bowl, and the eggs. "What!" 
cries Napoleon, " so you are making an omelette ! Bah! 
you don't know how to do it at all. I will show you 
how it is to be done.'" He then set to work, the 
Empress acting as his assistant, but he was trying to 
teach an assistant who knew more about it than he 
did, and whose education had been obtained in a very 
lofty school. The Empress's parents were passionately 
fond of rustic occupations, loving to withdraw into 
some rustic home built in the centre of great imperial 
parks, and there, disguised as farmers, to attend to 
household duties with their children. 

The omelette, then, having been finished, somehow 
or other, there remained the important operation of 
tossing it. Napoleon wanted to do this himself; but 
he had thought himself cleverer than he was, and just 
as he was trying to toss the omelette there happened 
to him what happened to the great Conde, who accord- 
ing to Gourville wished to make an omelette at an 
inn, where he had stopped, and pitched it into the 
fire when trying to turn it. Napoleon did not succeed 
any better, and let the omelette fall on the ground. 
] le was then obliged to confess his want of experience, 
and left the Empress to go on with her cooking alone. 

In the spring of 1812 the Emperor was enabled by 
the return of the fine weather to add to his family 
amusements excursions on horseback, and hunts, in 


which the Empress followed him, either at St. Cloud 
or at Rambouillet — residences of which he was fond 
because he was surrounded by fewer people, and was 
more at liberty. Sometimes at break of day he would 
wake the Empress up to go out riding with her. 
Together with Marie Louise he would ride through 
the beautiful woods which surround St. Cloud. Some 
of these rides had a fixed and useful object, either 
in the direction of Paris or in the surroundings. On 
some occasions the sovereigns went to pay a visit to the 
works of embellishment or improvement which had 
been commanded by Napoleon. The guardians of these 
works were sometimes taken by surprise, fast asleep, 
by these sudden visits, and would look at these 
new inspectors with amazement, believing themselves 
in the presence of a vision. As these excursions were 
never announced in advance the aide-de-camp and 
equerry in attendance, together with two or three 
outriders, formed the whole party. The Empress was 
never accompanied by any of her ladies. Some of 
these used to meet her on her return, or wait for her 
in her apartment. Marie Louise used to get into 
the carriage, which followed them, when she felt 
tired, but this happened but rarely. The Emperor 
always came back from these excursions, whether he 
went out alone or with Marie Louise, with some idea 
for . improving or perfecting the works in his mind. 
If he found on his road some piece of work to which 
his attention had been directed, he would examine in 
person to what an extent the carrying out of such a 
work would be useful. At the first glance Napoleon 
would take a survey of the site, and of the works 
which had been begun, forming a just idea of the best 


way in which they could be directed, of their duration, 
and of the expense which they would occasion. On 
his return he would commission his ministers to call 
together their heads of departments, the engineers, and 
scientific men, and unite them in a council over which 
he used to preside. On hearing the reading of their 
reports he would apply to them the first notions which 
he had gathered on the spot itself, having determined 
in his head in what way the works might be perfected. 
In spite of the rapidity of his examination he had 
generally made himself as fully acquainted thereby 
with all the details of the work as the specialists, 
who had made it the object of their constant studies, 
could have done. Nature had lavished upon Napoleon 
the faculties which she reserves to privileged beings 
created to command, to conduct, and to enlighten 
mankind. She had endowed him with a vivid and 
ardent imagination, united with a cold reasoning power; 
she had endowed him with genius fortified by study, 
which the most prolonged and arid labour could not 
wear out, and which, on the contrary, drew fresh stores 
of vigour from the diversity of his occupations; she had 
endowed him with a vast mind, which embraced the 
ensemble of the widest questions, and which descended 
to the most minute details; she had endowed him with 
a really extraordinary conception to which sudden flashes 
revealed the deepest depths of human knowledge; she 
had endowed him with a prodigious memory. To 
these gifts of intelligence there was added in Napoleon 
a lofty and sensitive mind, but a mind which was 
strongly tempered, and which rose superior to the 
blows as to the favours of fortune. His sang~froid was 
unalterable in the midst of danger as though he had 


felt himself invulnerable. A persevering and inflexible 
will, an instinct of power and superiority which broke 
down all obstacles, made him smile at the word "im- 
possible ", or deny its existence. The study of the 
human heart had taught him the art of attaching men 
to him, and of subjugating them. His presence and 
his language excited enthusiasm, his eloquence was 
vivacious and rapid, his words were energetic, profound, 
and often sublime. His simple exterior — simple, but 
heightened with an air of grandeur and by the habit of 
command, the fascination of his look — his look, whose 
sweet or severe expression penetrated to the bottom 
of all hearts, inspired respect mingled with fear and 
affection. Never was there a more popular leader in 
history, and yet he would never consent to lower him- 
self to acquire such popularity. His vigilance was 
constantly on the alert to reform abuses of every kind, 
to discover the means of raising France to the eminence 
where his genius dreamt of placing her; at the same 
time the indefatigable activity of his body and mind 
induced him to practise the principle that one should 
not let others do what one could do oneself. The 
main feeling of what is just and what is unjust domi- 
nated within him. So* far above other men, he was. 
whatever may have been said, superior to men's pas- 
sions, he knew how to pity the weakness and the 
misery of the human heart. Although as a general 
rule he was indulgent toward faults and errors, he had 
thought it sometimes necessary to rebuke severely in 
public those who had committed them, less to punish 
those to whom his reproaches were addressed than for 
an example, and to impress the minds of those who 
witnessed these scenes. His severity usually limited 

8 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

itself to this. Often clement towards his adversaries 
he was reluctant to act against them, and ended by 
becoming their victim. Those who have represented 
his government as the type of a military domination 
have not noticed what a little part in the power Xapoleon, 
who was adored by the army, gave to his lieutenants, 
and with what care he maintained his soldiers in a 
state of submission to civil authority. Endowed in the 
supremest degree with military genius, the reputation 
of the most illustrious captains pales before his, and 
yet it is not only to the glory of his army that he 
owed his reputation and his empire. He was an adminis- 
trator, a politician, a legislator, a writer, even a savant, 
and indeed everything that he wished to be — as well 
as a great soldier. The constant object of his labours, 
of his conquests, an object which time did not allow 
him to attain, can be summed up in one phrase: to assure 
to all men the full exercise and the entire enjoyment 
of all their faculties. It was Napoleon himself who 
attributed to himself this lofty ambition, nor will posterity 
deny him the merit of it. His thoughts, his actions, 
his very ambition converged towards this lofty object: 
to regenerate the nations, to scatter broadcast amongst 
them opinions of progress together with enlightenment, 
to bestow everywhere and on all classes the inalienable 
privileges of civil and political liberty. * 

Preoccupied with his lofty ambition and with the 
duty of protecting the future of France against the 
hatreds of the old-world Europe, Napoleon was neces- 
sarily forced in the development of his measures for 

* Whilst repudiating the violence and the Utopian ideas of the Revolution, 
Napoleon was the fust to sincerely wish to make all the principles 

which th<- Revolution had invoked from the beginning, practical realities. 


enforcing his conceptions to clash with many preju- 
dices, and to wound many and various susceptibilities. 
In putting aside the obstacles which impeded his 
onward march, he could not help injuring many 
interests of all kinds. Having fallen in the midst of 
his glorious and laborious career, the elevation of his 
ideas and the object of his plans have escaped the 
eyes of the vulgar, who only judge by success. Those 
whom fortune has abandoned are generally judged with 
but little indulgence. Napoleon has remained after 
his fall a prey to attacks which are often unjust and 
undeserved. Even at the time at which I am writing 
he has not yet been judged with sufficient impartiality, 
and yet the hatred of him is dying out, passion is 
losing its force, prejudices are becoming dissipated, 
and the minds of men enlightened. 

The path traced out by his genius, the object 
towards which he marched, will appear one day freed 
from the clouds which so long had shrouded them in 
darkness. This is what in my opinion, will happen for 
Napoleon, whose glory the future can only increase. 

In his private relations Napoleon was simple, natural, 
an observer of forms towards himself as well as towards 
others. Of easy manners in his family life, generous, 
and benevolent, he had orderly morals, religious 
sentiments, and great tolerance. He was a good father, 
a good husband, a good son, and a good brother. 

Napoleon applied to the acts of his public life the 
qualities which he had in his private life and which 
were inherent to his nature. This respect for moral- 
ity he exacted from his ministers, and from the 
functionaries of State. Not only did he seek — in those 
whom he associated with his labours — for talents 


appropriated to the lofty posts which were entrusted 
to them, but also a scrupulous probity, a spirit of 
equity and justice, and honourable morals. Those 
whom the nature of their functions put into , direct 
relations with him distinguished themselves by these 
qualities, with one or two exceptions in the case of 
men who were necessary to him, and who by reasons 
of prudence or superior political motives could not be 
definitely removed from his councils. Those who by 
reason of the secondary importance of their functions 
did not approach his person were none the less the 
objects of his attention. Abuses, acts contrary to the 
respect with which he wished his agents to be surrounded, 
were immediately repressed by severe reprimands, or 
punished by dismissal. It must be added that never 
was sovereign so well served, or inspired so much 
devotion, never under any reign were services of any 
and every kind less exposed to hazards, more inde- 
pendent of caprice, or less liable to be forgotten. 
Those who served Napoleon well were always largely 

On the 1 8th Brumaire the future Emperor had found 
France the prey to the most fatal dissensions, and the 
care of uniting the French in a common interest of 
national prosperity and greatness became his constant 
preoccupation. Everybody of any value in France, 
both under the Consulate and the Empire was summoned 
by the Head of the Government, without distinction of 
caste or of opinion, to help him in the task of re- 
organizing the State, of founding French unity and 
nationality, and laying the basis of that vigorous 
administration which Napoleon bequeathed to his 
successors. All citizens, both in civil and military 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon l I I 

life, seconded Napoleon with zeal and fidelity, for 
the spirit and will of the nation were personified in him. 

In brief, there were united in the same man all the 
great qualities which I have only given in outline, 
crowned with an ardent love for his country, and for 
its glory. This is what distinguishes Napoleon among 
the very small number of men who at rare intervals 
have ruled over the world. The more he becomes 
known the more will he be found to be one of the 
least imperfect of men. He used to speak with entire 
conviction when he said that he would present himself 
with confidence before God's justice seat, and would 
await His judgment without fear. If the energy of his 
character, a profound sentiment of honour, and a horror 
of injustice drew him on rare occasions beyond the limits 
of moderation the cause thereof must be looked for in 
the exaggeration of these qualities. If in a small 
number of particular cases — amongst others in his 
decision on the affair of the Antwerp Custom-house, 
and the establishment of the state prisons — he thought 
the action of the existing laws insufficient, or saw that 
grave disadvantages would arise from their rigorous 
application, he was always determined to the use of 
discretionary power, absolute but not arbitrary (for the 
word arbitrary presupposes caprice or sovereign's mere 
will and pleasure), by considerations concerning the 
public interest, or by his anxiety to protect morality. 

The Zoi'luses * of Napoleon's glory have taken 
pleasure in depicting his policy in odious colours, but 
did he ever make use of the detestable means, of which 
an example was given by his predecessors, in the 
reconstruction or in the foundation of Empires? Did 

* From Zoi'lus, the critic of Homer. R. H. S. 


he sow dissension, crime, or revolt, in the states of his 
implacable enemies? Did he arm the peoples against 
their sovereigns? Did he raise up the slaves against 
their masters? * 

The extraordinary situation in which the eternal 
enemies of France and of her chief had placed Na- 
poleon amply explains most of his acts. Errors and 
miscalculations were inevitable in the great work 
which he had undertaken. At the same time such 
an act, which may appear to a contemporary to merit 
blame will perhaps be praised by posterity. Time 
matures slowly the germs of the important improve- 
ments which Napoleon had entrusted to the future to 
perfect. The march of time will assuredly unroll many 
unknown pages of this life, so fruitful in vast con- 
ceptions, which will reveal the profundity of this 
extraordinary genius, and will justify many acts which 
were misunderstood or superficially judged by many 

Absorbed with the cares of a constantly renewed 

struggle against the armies of the coalition, Napoleon 

could not think of endowing France with a greater 

number of more liberal parliamentary institutions for 

which the country was not yet matured, and which 

besides, were not at that time asked for by public 

opinion. The introduction of these reforms into our 

institutions during such troubled times would have 

been, as one may conceive, untimely. It would have 

* "I could have armed a greal part of the population (in Russia) 
against itself by proclaiming the freedom of the serfs. 1 was asked to do 
so in a Large number of villages, but when 1 saw the degraded stati- 
el tin- large <l.i>^ of 1 1 1 « - Russian population I refused to take a 
measure which would have condemned many families to death and to the 
in., t horrible tortures." Extract from the Emperor's Correspondence 
to tin- Deputation of the Senate [Afoniteur, Dec. 2 1st, [812). 


thrown the Imperial Government, constantly menaced 
by dangers abroad, into all kinds of inextricable 
embarrassments, under the weight of which it would 
have been doomed to succumb fatally and very rapidly. 
It has been said with reason that each epoch- has its 
way of thinking and its principles, the direction of 
which can be modified by nobody, and that one must 
not ask the fruits of autumn of the spring. The 
experience of thirty years has proved, according to us, 
that the establishment of the representative system, in 
order to rally all minds in France, stands in need of 
a modification in the customs and character of our 
nation. Napoleon knew perfectly well that it was 
impossible to govern for any length of time against 
the feelings and against the wishes of the nation. He 
often confessed that there were faults, and a need of 
reform in the workings of his government, adding 
that he proposed to remedy these faults as soon as 
quieter times should give him leisure to do so. Who 
then, will dare to affirm that at the time when 
general peace should have freed France from all fear 
of danger from abroad, and from perturbations at 
home, leaving Napoleon free to destroy the barriers 
and restrictions imposed by circumstances, he would 
not himself have abdicated his dictatorship, restricted 
his rule to its natural limits, and in this way have 
prepared for his son a pacific reign, protected by 
liberal institutions wisely thought out? 

One might make of the projects of reform and 
improvement thought over by the Emperor, for the 
administrative, financial and judicial systems, a collec- 
tion of immortal decisions on all questions which 
interest humanity in general, and the government of a 


great Empire. With his genius for organization, his 
eminent spirit of order, his keen love of good, and 
for France, what great things did this privileged be- 
ing accomplish in so few years, and in spite of so 
many obstacles! The prodigies accomplished by him 
during his reign were not above all the dreams which 
he hoped to turn into realities, and which he held in 
reserve in his mighty brain. The remembrance of 
these times, the hours which I passed in the company 
of this extraordinary man, seem to me now a dream. 
In the excited state of feeling which this remembrance 
awakens in me I can only kneel down before the 
impenetrable decrees of Providence, which after having 
raised up this marvellous instrument of its designs, 
so quickly took him away from his unfinished w T ork. 
It may be that the Divine Creator of all things was 
not willing to permit His creature to anticipate the times 
marked by the unvarying order laid down by Himself. 

After the signing of the treaties with Austria and 
Prussia at the beginning of 1812, of which I have 
already spoken, the Emperor decided to pay a visit to 
Dresden before proceeding to the army. He proposed 
to assemble his allies there. He had not yet given up 
all hope of avoiding the great struggle which was pre- 
paring. Napoleon spoke to the Empress of his intention 
of inviting the Emperor of Austria to meet him in the 
capital of the King of Saxony. The Empress Marie 
Louise received this proposal with great pleasure, for 
it was her warmest wish to see her father and her 
family, with whom she kept up a regular correspond- 
ence, once more. 

In consequence Count Otto, our ambassador in 


Vienna, was commissioned to invite the Emperor Francis 
to come to Dresden with the Empress and the Arch- 
dukes and Archduchesses, brothers and sisters of Marie 
Louise, who looked forward with pleasure to spending 
some days with them. 

The necessity of coping- with the serious difficulties 
caused by the lack of wheat, with which France was 
threatened, delayed the Emperor's departure to 
Dresden for a month. Since 181 1 the scarcity of 
wheat had been felt, and this scarcity had developed 
towards the beginning of 181 2 in a manner to cause 
anxiety. Extraordinary measures, and an allotment of 
25,000,000 francs for the purpose of reducing the price 
of bread, ample daily distributions of cheap soups, 
and above all the promise of a good harvest, dispelled 
this danger. The Emperor displayed under these cir- 
cumstances the activity which he knew how to apply 
to all things. Every two days he presided over coun- 
cils of maintenance, to which he summoned competent 
men, and his solicitude and foresight extended to the 
minutest details of the question. 

At the time of engaging in a distant and hazardous 
expedition, the Emperor feared that during an absence 
which might be prolonged, the English, whose ships 
were cruising before Genoa, might attempt to forcibly 
remove the Pope from Savona, in order to make of 
the Head of the Catholic Church a docile instrument 
in their hands, in spite of the fact that their hands were 
the hands of heretics. With a view of providing against 
this eventuality he ordered that the Holy Father should 
be invited to go to Fontainebleau, in order to remove 
him out of the sphere of English intrigues. At the same 
time Napoleon summoned the Archbishop of Edessa to 


Fontaincbleau, thinking that the society of this prelate, 
who was much liked by the Pope, would be both 
agreeable and useful to His Holiness. 

The Emperor had sent M. de Montholon, who was the 
son-in-law of Senator Semonville, to Wiirtzburg as 
plenipotentiary minister, because, as he thought, the 
court of the Grand-Duke would be to the French 
envoy a mirror in which he could see the reflection 
of all that was going on in Vienna. Prince Ferdinand 
of Austria, formerly Grand-Duke of Tuscany, who had 
been dispossessed of his States by the treaty of Luneville, 
had obtained in exchange for the Duchy of Salzburg, 
the Grand-Duchy of Wiirtzburg, in virtue of a clause 
of the treaty of 1809. He had come to Paris as a 
member of the Confederation of the Rhine to be present 
at the marriage of his niece Marie Louise. He stayed 
rather a long time in Paris, and lived in the intimacy 
of the imperial family and court. The object for which 
M. de Montholon was sent was to a certain extent 
realized, for the new ambassador gave useful information 
on the internal state of things in Austria and Germany. 

Count Montholon had passed through a brilliant 
military career. His services previous to the day of 
Brumaire 1 8th, and his co-operation on that same day, 
had been recompensed with the gift of the sword of 
honour. He was obliged to renounce his military 
career temporarily, in consequence of wounds and bad 
health. He then became chamberlain to the Emperor, 
and was entrusted with various missions, in which he 
knew how to display his skill. His diplomatic career 
was however suddenly interrupted by a marriage which 
displeased Napoleon. General Montholon, as a matter 
of feet, during his visit to Wurtzburg, and without 


the knowledge of his family, married a woman who 
had been twice divorced, and whose two husbands 
were still living. The Emperor had refused his consent 
to this marriage; but, during his stay in Dresden, he 
granted M. Montholon permission to marry the niece 
of President Seguier, because he had forgotten that 
the lady in question was the identical person whose 
marriage he had refused to authorize. Napoleon, 
however, was soon made acquainted with the true 
state of things, and refused to allow the divorced 
woman to be presented at the Court of Wiirtzburg, 
and this out of consideration for the susceptibility of the 
small German courts, which in this case at least was 
very excusable. General Montholon, in consequence, 
was ordered to retire immediately from his place, 
and to return to Paris forthwith. The Emperor's 
resentment, however, was not longlived. Count 
Montholon very soon re-entered the service and was 
entrusted with the command of a department. On 
Napoleon's return from the Island of Elba, this faithful 
servant made haste to go and meet him, attached 
himself entirely to his person, and in the end, together 
with his wife and children, followed him to St. Helena, 
where, until the very end, he gave the Emperoi 
touching proofs of the most absolute devotion. * 

Before leaving Paris the Emperor, according to his 

* Charles Tristan, Count de Montholon (1783 — 1853) was one of 
Napoleon's testamentary executors, in which capacity he took charge of 
all the Emperor's manuscripts after his death. On his return from St. 
Helena, he published, in collaboration with General Gourgaud, eight 
volumes of " Memoires pour servir a I'histoire de France sous Nafio- 
le'on, e'crits a Ste.-Helene sotis sa dictee" (Paris 1823). He accompanied 
Louis Napoleon on his Boulogne expedition in 1840, and shared his 
captivity in the fortress of Ham. — R. H. S. 


custom, had despatched all matters which were behind- 
hand, or which were awaiting his decision. He had 
established an order of service in virtue of which the 
government was confided during his absence to the 
Council of Ministers, presided over by the Arch-Chancellor 
Cambaceres. An auditor charged with the minister's 
portfolio was sent each week to the Minister Secretary 
of State, who always accompanied the Emperor. The 
Minister of Police himself wrote every day. Napoleon 
also used to receive confidential letters or notes from 
persons who were not employed in the government 
but who were authorized or permitted to write to 
him, as the readers have seen, on matters of home 
politics, on the state of the public opinion, and even 
on literary subjects. Although distant 800 or 000 
leagues from Paris, Napoleon governed the. Empire 
as though he were present. The Empress was at 
that time only charged with the representative part 
of the functions. She used to go to mass every 
Sunday, and all persons who had been presented at 
Court were allowed to be present on these occasions. 
After mass she used to walk round the gallery which 
led into the chapel and converse with everybody 
present. She used also to receive on certain grand 
occasions. At such times her timidity was noticeable 
and the efforts which she made to surmount this 
timidity gave her an embarrassed bearing. The persons 
of both sexes whose names were registered on the lists 
of entries were admitted every evening to her receptions. 
It was the Emperor who had drawn up this list, 
and he had taken care to select persons who were agree- 
able to the Empress. The consequence was, that at these 
drawing-rooms she was perfectly at her ease, and did 


the honours with much grace and natural manners. She 
used to play at billiards with persons whom she selected. 
Whist tables were set up for form in her drawing- 
room, and the evenings terminated with a concert or the- 
atrical performance. 

On May 9th, 181 2, the Emperor and Empress left 
St. Cloud, and arrived at Mayence on the 14th, where 
they stayed. Their Majesties saw the Grand-Duke and 
Grand-Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt. The journey from 
Mayence to Dresden was one unbroken triumphal 
procession, and the princes of the Confederation of the 
Rhine, whose States were passed through by the French 
sovereigns, received them as their wSuzerains, and showed 
them the hospitality of grand- vassals. Many even came 
to wait for them on the road, amongst others the King of 
Wurtemberg, and the Grand-Duke of Baden. It would 
be a mistake to fancy that the Emperor expected his 
hosts to pay for his entertainment and that of his suite. 
Napoleon did not wish his visits to give trouble to 
anybody. He was preceded and followed by his 
household, together with all that was necessary for a 
life of great display. Some leagues from Dresden he 
met the King of Saxony, who had come to meet him, 
accompanied by his Queen. The Emperor and Empress 
made their entrance into Dresden, with Their Saxon 
Majesties, by torchlight. On the morrow the Emperor 
and Empress of Austria, and the Archdukes also 
arrived at Dresden, and were followed in turn by the 
Queen of Westphalia (the King had already gone to 
join the army), the Grand-Duke of Wurtzburg, the 
King and Crown Prince of Prussia, and many of the 
princes of the Confederation, the principal ministers, 
and amongst others MM. de Hardenberg and Metternich. 


The Emperor Francis embraced Napoleon with visible 
emotion. The Empress of Austria and the Archdukes 
received Marie Louise with an ardour which was mingled 
with respect. The King of Prussia presented the Crown 
Prince to the Emperor, and begged him to allow him 
to follow him as aide-de-camp *, and at the same time 
begged the Emperor's aides-de-camp to bestow their 
friendship on his son. 

The period of Napoleon's stay in Dresden, in 1812, 
marks the apogee of his power. Words are wanting 
to describe the effect which his presence produced there. 
Never perhaps has human greatness reached so high 
a point. It has been said that Napoleon at Dresden was 
the Agamemnon, king of kings : it was to his intellec- 
tual superiority almost as much as to his power that 
at that time these spontaneous manifestations of respect 
and consideration were addressed. An emperor, kings, 
and sovereign princes, stood at his side as courtiers 
rather than as peers. The Emperor of Austria was 
forgotten in Napoleon's presence, and the latter had 
to efface himself to draw attention to a Prince whose 
illustrious son-in-law centred all attention on himself. 
It must not be judged from their attitude that the 
Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia were 
sincere in their demonstrations towards the man who 
had conquered them. If these princes had been able 
for the moment to forget their secret grudges they had 
near their persons clever ministers who would have taken 
it upon themselves to remind them of their grievances. 
The Empress of Austria, a well-read and intelligent 
woman, came to Dresden armed with her dignity as 
a beautiful woman and as an Empress, full of preju- 
• Brutally refused by Napoleon. — r. h. s. 


dices against the man to whom the Austrian monarchy 
owed its greatest humiliation. Marie Louise's young 
step-mother came determined to resist the general 
enthusiasm, and to hold herself in a reserve which 
should fringe on contempt. In a very short time she 
had yielded to the influence which Napoleon exercised 
on all. I had frequent opportunities of observing the 
aspect of these august assemblies, and I have contem- 
plated the royal assembly, of which Napoleon was 
the head, in the vast apartment of the Palace at Dresden. 
The Empress of Austria was in such poor health that 
she was unable to support the fatigue of walking a long 
distance in the apartment. The Emperor used to go 
to meet her, holding his hat in one hand, the other 
hand resting on the door of the Sedan chair, in which 
the Empress was being carried, talking to her in a 
cheerful manner. The Empress seemed to take an 
interest in his conversation and showed her interest by 
the attention with which she listened to, and answered 
him. All those who were present at these moments 
agree in saying that Napoleon exercised an irresistible 
ascendency over his noble hosts, as much by the agree- 
ableness of his wit, as by the seduction of his manners. 
One might have said that this extraordinary man had, 
since his youth, carried the weight of a great empire 
on his shoulders, so well did he know how to support 
the dignity of his rank by his tone and by his manners. 
Penetrating and profound as was his intelligence, nothing 
escaped his observing eye. Perfect tact, and a delicate 
instinct of what was due to all, were wedded in this excep- 
tional mind to maturity and education, and this assembly 
of superior qualities rendered him the most amiable and 
charming of men when he chose to show himself as such. 


The first idea of the journey to Dresden had arisen 
from Marie Louise's desire to see her family again 
and be once more in the midst of her people. The 
presence of the Emperor of Austria at Dresden 
necessarily entailed also the presence of the King of 
Prussia, who was equally the ally of France in the 
war which was being prepared. Napoleon's principal 
reason in assembling the kings and the princes of the 
Confederation of the Rhine had been to show Russia 
how strong were the bonds which united these different 
princes to the system of the French Empire. The 
Emperor had not despaired of impressing Russia and 
of leading this power to less bellicose feelings by 
means of this display of a close alliance with the 
sovereigns of the whole of Germany, together with a 
display of considerable forces. As a matter of fact, 
and I cannot repeat this too often, Napoleon was 
entering upon this war with extreme reluctance, and 
until the very last moment in his heart of hearts he 
hoped to be able to avoid it. Before leaving Paris the 
Emperor had sent General Narbonne, his aide-de-camp, 
to St. Petersburg. Having no news of General 
Narbonne at Dresden, and hearing that the Emperor 
Alexander had arrived at Vilna, he sent word to 
Count Lauriston, his ambassador, to proceed to this city 
and to address himself to the Czar directly. Napoleon 
accordingly, it cannot be denied, fostered a feeble hope 
that the difficulties might yet be overcome. He loved 
to think that reflection having enlightened Alexander 
the latter would be inclined to withdraw the strong 
summons addressed by the Russian Cabinet to the 
French Government, ordering us to evacuate the 
territory occupied by our armies before any nego- 

MENEVAL'S memoirs of napoleon i. 23 

tiations or pourparlers had taken place. General 
Lauriston was not even able to obtain authorization to 
go to Vilna, and as to Count Narbonne he returned 
to Dresden on May 24th, only five days before 
the Emperor's departure. He had been received by 
the Russian sovereign, but he had not found him at 
all inclined to make any alteration in his views. The 
cold and inflexible attitude of this prince, his reserve, 
his perseverance in unacceptable demands, convinced 
Napoleon that the Czar had made up his mind, and 
that he had engaged himself towards England too far 
to be able to draw back any more. Unable any longer 
to deceive himself as to the uselessness of his attempts 
at reconciliation, the Emperor sent orders to Paris 
that Prince Kurakin's passport should be returned to 
him. The Duke de Bassano's letter, which was sent 
with these passports, was so worded that the ambas- 
sador of Russia could not but see that the insistance 
with which he had asked for them could no longer 
be considered in any other light than as a declaration 
of war. 

In the midst of imposing fetes, drawing-rooms, and 
balls, in Dresden, had it not been known that there 
were stationed around us 500,000 men ready to enter 
the arena, one would have thought neither of war nor 
of the great events which were preparing — events in 
which each one of the actors took a particular and 
very different interest. 

Amongst the persons in the suite of the Emperor 
of Austria was a man vested with the title of cham- 
berlain, who made himself known in military com- 
mands, in diplomatic missions, but who passed un- 
noticed in the royal and princely crowd. This 

24 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

man was General Count Neipperg. The Empress 
Marie Louise saw him there for the first time, with- 
out attaching the slightest importance to his presence. 
However, as she was going to the theatre room with 
the Emperor, she addressed some words to this general 
because he happened to be standing in her way. How 
impenetrable are the designs of God! These three 
persons, whom the festivities of Dresden had drawn 
together, in such different ranks, were far from suspecting 
at that time the part which the most humble amongst 
them was destined to play in the future. 

On May 29th the Empress Marie Louise was the 
only one of the guests who remained in Dresden. The 
Emperor Napoleon had left her on that day to join 
the army. The Emperor and Empress of Austria had 
set out for Prague the same day themselves, to hurry 
on the preparations for the reception of their daughter 
and step-daughter. On the evening before, the King 
of Prussia and the Crown Prince had left to return to 
Berlin. Marie Louise remained in Dresden alone for 
some days, and left on June 4th for Prague. Her 
journey was an uninterrupted triumph, she was com- 
plimented on the Austrian frontier; she was received 
under triumphal arches, and escorted by numerous 
squadrons of cavalry in full uniform. The Emperor 
and Empress came to meet her, and conducted her to 
Prague, which she entered to the sound of cannon, 
and church bells. The civil and religious authorities, 
the court, and the leading nobility of the provinces 
were presented to her. The Emperor and Empress 
of Austria gave precedence to Marie Louise both at 
table and in the carriages, and everywhere she was 
received with the honours which were reserved for the 


Austrian sovereigns on gala days. This stay at Prague 
lasted more than three weeks, and every day was 
taken up with banquets, balls, excursions, illuminations, 
or theatrical performances. Alternate receptions were 
held- at the palace of the Emperor of Austria, and at 
the palace of the Empress Marie Louise. Nothing 
was wanting in the honours lavished on Napoleon's 
wife on Austrian territory. It might have been said 
that the family of Hapsburg, in harmony with fortune, 
was saluting with a final and splendid homage the 
man whose star was so soon to wane, and at last to 
go out — to be altogether extinguished. 

In the midst of these enjoyments Marie Louise 
never for a moment forgot the Emperor, and used to 
write to him every day. On June 25th she wrote the 
following letter to Napoleon's mother: — 

" Prague, June 25th, 1812. 

"The Emperor is wonderfully well. He is still in the 
neighbourhood of Konigsberg, always busy, always on horse- 
back, and all the better for it. The only comfort which 
I have during his absence is to think that the fatigue which 
he endures gives me no reason to fear for his health. He 
writes to me very often, and each day that I receive a letter 
from him is a day of happiness for me .... Nothing can 
console me for the Emperors absence, not even the pre- 
sence of all my family." 

On July 1st, the Empress Marie Louise left Prague 
with her father, who accompanied her as far as 
Carlsbad, and on the 18th she was back again at 
St. Cloud. 

In the meanwhile Napoleon visited Glogau, Posen, 
Thorn, Dantzig, and Konigsberg, in turn. During 


his stay in the latter city the Emperor held a 
great review in the plain of Friedland, which re- 
minded him of one of his most splendid triumphs. 
He inspected the various army corps, and conducted 
them to the Niemen which was crossed on June 24th. 
On the 22nd of the same month a proclamation, dated 
from Wilkovicki, had announced the declaration of 
war on Russia. On the 25th of May previously, this 
power had endeavoured to sign the treaty of Bucharest 
with the Porte, and on the 29th of the same month, 
had dcckired all its ports open to ships of all nations, 
which meant to say that they were open to English 

On the morrow of the day on which the proclamation 
of Wilkovicki had been entered on the order of the 
day, Napoleon went to reconnoitre in person which 
point on the Niemen was most favourable to crossing. 
He put a hood over his coat, and placed on his 
head the forage cap of one of the Polish Light 
Cavalry of the Guard. Three bridges were thrown 
over the river, near Kowno, by his orders, and it was 
by these bridges that the army crossed the river in 
the night of the 23rd June, and during the whole 
following day. After the Niemen had been crossed, 
and during the march from Kowno to Vilna, no Russian 
soldiers were met with, except some light troops near 
the latter town, which was entered by the French 
without any fighting. The weather had changed 
suddenly after the crossing of the Niemen, and the 
rain, which fell in torrents, inundated the roads, and this 
disorganized all the army transport service. The Em- 
peror entered Vilna on June 28th, and he was received 
there like a liberator, and as the restorer of Polish 


independence. I will now speak of an incident which 
happened to a Polish squadron, and which occurred 
whilst crossing a small river. I do so because the 
losses which it is alleged were suffered by these 
squadrons have been stated with a great deal of 
exag-geration. The bridge having broken down, the 
Poles bravely swam across the river — which was much 
swollen by the rain — in the way practised by the 
Tartars. Their loss amounted to one light cavalry- 
man, who was carried away by the current, separated 
from his comrades, and drowned. 

The Emperor Alexander had left Vilna three days 
previously to join his headquarters at Sventziani. 

The narrative of the military events of the Russian 
campaign is not within the scope of this work. 
Conscientious historians have already fulfilled this task 
with impartiality. Memoirs which are still unpublished 
will relate all the occurrences which took place, and 
make all the conduct of this fatal war better known. 
The majority of writers who have undertaken to 
relate them have not justified their mission with suffi- 
cient impartiality. One animated with hostile sentiments 
against the fallen Imperial Government has in his 
narrative shown all the ardour of his hatred and all the 
injustice of his prejudices. Another devoted to the 
Bourbon Government has tried to offer them a sacrifice 
of the great victim. A third, * seeing in the events 
of this war the subject of a sombre epic, which 
tempted his literary ambition, has strained his dreamy 
imagination to compose a drama, which, by the manner 
of its exposure, its action, and its denouement, should 
realize the object which he had proposed to himself 

* General Philip de Segur. 


to attain. Although the causes and the combinations 
of this memorable expedition were in part unknown 
to him, the author has known how to suit them to the 
object he had in view (agri somiiia). His melancholy 
genius took pleasure in painting, in the blackest 
colours, misfortunes which were cruel enough to need 
no exaggeration and to excite in the minds of men, 
already struck with this immense catastrophe, those 
deep emotions of which the human heart is so greedy.* 
The mission of the Russian general, BalakofF, at Vilna, 
the object of which is hardly known, was a prelimin- 
ary of this fatal war, and was perhaps its most certain 
precursor. The Emperor of Russia had received 
Count Narbonne at Vilna, in a manner which dispelled 
all hopes for the preservation of peace. He had more- 
over refused to see Count Lauriston, our ambassador, 
and even to allow his Prime Minister to confer with 
him. War had already begun, Napoleon was already 
in the centre of Lithuania, all communications seemed 
broken off between the two States, when the arrival 
of a Russian officer at the Imperial headquarters 
excited general surprise, and brought back a ray of 
hope. This general officer, Minister of Police, whose 
mission no doubt was purely one of observation, bore 
an autograph letter from the Emperor of Russia to 
Napoleon. In this letter Alexander complained of the 
violation of his frontiers, declaring that " Prince Kura- 
kin had not been authorized to ask for the return of 
his credentials, that if this was a reason why the 
Emperor had considered himself at war with him it 

* The work to which Mioeval refers is de S&gur's: "ffistotre de A r <r/>o- 
lion et de l<i Grande Arm£e n which was published in Paris in 1S24 

ami met with greal sin CCS8. R. II. S. 


was a great misunderstanding, * that if Napoleon was 
content to withdraw his troops from Russian territory, 
he was prepared to shut his eyes to what had happened, 
and that an arrangement was still possible." The 
Emperor, comparing this step taken by Russia with 
the insistance with which Prince Kurakin had demanded 
his passports in Paris, with Alexander's refusal to 
listen to our ambassador, and the cold reception 
which he had awarded to Count Narbonne at Vilna, 
was greatly surprised at this so tardy a communication. 
He, however, asked the Russian envoy if he had 
powers, and offered to treat for peace then and there. 
General Balakoff had neither instructions nor powers. 
His mission was limited to renewing the injunction 
which had been made in Paris by Prince Kurakin, 
and to demand the evacuation of the territories. The 
Emperor, concealing the resentment which he felt 
on the receipt of a notification which he was 
unable to define, received the bearer thereof very 
well, spoke to him of his master in a friendly way 
and with interest, but could not but consider Alexander's 
message as a message intended to humiliate him, the 
effect of which had been well calculated by those who 
had advised it. 

Another incident which marked Napoleon's stay at 
Vilna was the reception of a deputation from the Diet 
of Warsaw, which came to ask him to declare himself 
in favour of a re-establishment of Poland. The address 
in which this wish was expressed, which had been 
written by Abbe de Pradt, who had not found the address 
written by the deputation sufficiently academical, was 

* In the original letter Alexander mis-spells the word and writes 
misentendu for malentendu. 

30 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

of a kind to embarrass the Emperor. If he did not 
pronounce the decision which the Poles asked for, 
namely: "The Kingdom of Poland is re-established," 
it was because he could not and would not guarantee 
anything at the beginning of a war the chances of 
which could not be foreseen. Nor was he prepared 
to bind himself to the promise that he would not lay 
down arms until after the accomplishment of an 
engagement on this head. He wished, indeed, in case 
of a want of success, to be able to conclude peace 
and not to prolong a struggle which, whilst exhausting 
the forces and the resources of France, would bring 
with it no decisive result for Poland. A fortunate 
war, followed by peace, could alone allow him to 
enfranchise this nation and to proclaim its independence. 
All therefore had to depend on the issue of this war 
and on the way in which the Poles should conduct 
themselves during its course: such was the Emperor's 
way of thinking. 

It has been seen that in the alliance which was con- 
cluded with Austria before the campaign was entered 
upon, the cession of a part of Galicia had been stipulated 
for in case Poland should come to be re-established as 
a consequence of the war, that is to say after the con- 
clusion of peace. When in 1806, Prussian Poland was 
created the Grand-Duchy of Warsaw, Napoleon had 
acted with the same circumspection and had refused 
to pronounce himself until after victory was his. 

The reasons which dictated the Emperor's answer to the 
Poles were just and sincere. A prudent reserve dictated 
the language in which he spoke to them, although his 
mind was fully made up to make the re-establishment 
of the Polish monarchy one of the conditions of peace 


if victory once more remained faithful to the French flag. 
The Emperor's answer to the Polish deputies will be 
found at the end of this volume. However this may 
be, this declaration produced a bad effect on the Poles 
and even in France. Napoleon has been blamed for 
having been too prudent in this matter. On reading 
over his declaration attentively, it will however be found 
that he promised his support to the Polish nation in 
no ambiguous terms. If he did not add to the num- 
ber of Russo-Polish provinces which he advised to 
revolt the provinces which belonged to Austria, it 
was because the war being exclusively directed against 
Russia, it was to the Russo-Polish provinces alone 
that his call to arms had exclusively to be addressed. 
Napoleon had moreover no wish to reveal the secret 
of his plans nor to alienate Austria to whom he was 
bound by a treaty, by a want of consideration at the 
very outset of the campaign. What moral force would 
have remained to him if, in the course of a solemn 
audience, he had offended, by the use of indiscreet 
expressions, a power whose troops with the Prussian 
contingent formed the wings of his army ? If the war 
had been crowned with success, the Austro-Polish 
provinces would necessarily have been returned to the 
reconstituted monarchy of Poland, Austria being com- 
pensated by means of an indemnity which would have 
been equivalent and even superior. 

To appreciate Napoleon's interest in the re-establish- 
ment of Poland it is necessary to make known the 
instructions which he had given to his ambassador at 
Warsaw, and above all it is necessary to know why 
he had chosen him. With a view of assuring to his 
representative preponderant authority, for it was his to 


exercise a veritable vice-royalty in Poland, the Emperor 
had chosen him from amongst the high dignitaries of 
the Church. The rank of archbishop gave to the 
French envoy a political character which gave him 
an exceptional position, an advantage which neither a 
general nor a civil functionary would have enjoyed in 
presence of the Polish generals and ministers. Only 
his choice of the man was a most unfortunate one. 
It is one of the few reproaches of the kind which 
can be addressed to Napoleon, who, as a rule, was so 
well able to find men fitted for the functions with 
which he intended to intrust them. 

The resume of the instructions given to M. de Pradt, 
was to see all, to know all, to direct all, to animate 
all, but he was not to let his hand be seen. What the 
Emperor could not or did not wish to say was to be 
done by the country through the ambassador's influ- 
ence. The latter was ordered to obtain from the 
Polish nation the revival of the great confederations, 
a pronouncement of its wishes, a vigorous display of 
all its forces, and a general revolt against Russia. 
The ambassador did exactly the contrary. He made 
it his task to calm all agitation, to annihilate all 
manifestation, to cool all enthusiasm. He was ordered 
to keep the Diet constantly assembled, to inspire it, 
to keep up the warmth of its patriotic feelings and 
the excitement with which its members were ani- 
mated, and finally to keep it permanently in session, so 
that there should always be a tribune from which the 
voices of those authorized to speak could address the 
country, inflame tho minds of men and keep the holy 
flame aglow. M. de Pradt dismissed this assembly 
after a three days' sitting; he sent the deputies back 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 33 

to their homes and retained alone a committee which 
he only assembled on rare occasions and which he 
prevented from acting- in any way. A manifesto, 
comprising addresses by Polish ministers of approved 
talent and patriotism, whose voices were known to the Po- 
lish people, had been written. The ambassador rewrote 
these according to his own way of thinking, considering 
that they were written in savage style, and thus stripped 
these of their national character. In this same way he 
disfigured the very pronouncement of the confederation. 

The Emperor hearing, at Vilna, of conduct so 
opposed to the orders he had given and so utterly 
inconsistent, regretted his choice and thought of recall- 
ing M. de Pradt; but fearing that such a recall, under 
existing circumstances, might produce a bad effect, 
contented himself with sending him a severe reprimand 
and renewing his instructions in a positive and peremp- 
tory manner. The delirium of pride however blinded 
the archbishop. He woke up one day with the idea 
that the duchy was threatened by sixty thousand 
Russians, and at once thought of flight. He is urged 
to take advantage of the anxiety caused by this 
rumour to excite the Poles, to urge them on to levy 
troops, to organize guerillas and to increase the 
numbers of agents of the insurrection. On the morrow, 
this imaginary danger having passed away, M. de Pradt 
considers these measures useless and falls back again 
into a state of apathy. 

There can be no doubt that the co-operation of the 
Poles would have been unanimous if the Emperor's 
instructions could have been faithfully carried out, but 
the man who represented France at Warsaw seemed 
to make it his duty to paralyze their efforts. 


When one considers how M. de Pradt behaved in 
his embassy, as proved by his own despatches, by the 
Emperor's instructions and the correspondence of the 
Ministry of Exterior Relations, one is tempted to ac- 
cuse this fatal person of treachery, but the frivolity 
and the inconsistence of his character exclude such an 
idea. One cannot admit the suspicion that he had 
conceived two years in advance the plan of working 
in an underhand way towards the overthrow of the 
Empire. All the evil he occasioned in the course 
of the mission to Warsaw with which Napoleon 
had intrusted him, was inspired to him by his overween- 
ing arrogance and his foolish and ridiculous vanity. 

It remained only for the man who had basely flattered 
Napoleon in the days of his power, who had caused 
him such serious damage by his incapable conduct 
in Poland, to hurl calumny and insult in the face of 
the august and ivnhappy man ; nor did he fail to do so, 
acting like a faithless servant, as soon as, having nothing 
more to expect from his ancient benefactor and master, 
he had, at the same time, no more reason to fear him. 
The "History of the Embassy to Warsaw" is a monument 
of ingratitude and cowardice, to which History ought 
to do justice had it ever occasion to deal with its author. *f 

* "Wretched scoundrel ! " such is Napoleon's description of M. de Pradt. 

■j- Dominique Dufour, Abbe de Pradt, was born in 1759, was grand 
vicar of Rouen in 1789, emigrated in 1 79 1 , returned to France in 1801 
and, thanks to Duroc, his kinsman, was successively appointed almoner 
to the Emperor, baron, Bishop of Poitiers and Archbishop of Mechlin. 
Alter hi-, imbecile conduct in Warsaw In- was sent back to his diocese 
;m<l became the violent enemy of Napoleon. He was, however, coldly 
1 1 li\ tin' Bourbons, and resigned his archbishopric in 1816. In 1827 
he was ele< ted deput) of the Puj -de-1 >6me department, but soon resigned. 
He died in 1837. Hi- "History of the Embassy t<> the Grand-Duchy 
of Warsaw" was published in 1 «S 1 5; . He was also the author of other 
political ami historical works, one of which, his * Quatre Concordats,*' 
(1S1HJ figure! on ill*- Index Expurgatorius in Rome.— k. 11. s. 


A provisional government was established at Vilna. 
It was composed of seven members belonging to the 
most important families in Lithuania. Here are their 
names : Count Soltan, Prince Alexander Sapieha, Count 
Potocki, Count Sierakowski, Count Prozor, Count Tysen- 
haus, and the President of the University of Vilna, M. 
Sniadecki. A guard of honour under the command of 
Count Oginski was placed at the Emperor's service, 
followed him to Moscow, and accompanied him on 
his retreat as far as Vilna. This guard of honour, 
which was small in number, but whose zeal never 
slackened for an instant, formed the nucleus of the 
second regiment of light Polish cavalry of the Guard. 
Many leading Poles, prompted by patriotic feelings, 
and animated by the hope of contributing in a more 
efficacious manner to the re-establishment of the Polish 
nation, followed the Imperial headquarters as volunteers, 
sharing the vicissitudes and the dangers of the French 

The Emperor appointed the Duke de Bassano Governor 
of Lithuania, but established him at Vilna with a mission 
to act as the centre of correspondence and organization. 
M. de Bassano was charged with publishing the news 
concerning the operations of the French army, with corre- 
sponding with Austria, Prussia, and especially with 
Turkey, whom it was a matter of great importance 
to watch over, and if needs be to excite against 
Russia. This last part of Napoleon's instructions could 
not always be carried out with the required promptitude. 
Various causes contributed to this, especially the slowness 
and difficulties of communication, which increased as 
the army moved further and further away from Vilna. 
The Duke de Bassano was also ordered to correspond 


with the Warsaw Government, and sometimes to trans- 
mit orders to the corps which w r ere ranged on the rear 
of the army; and finally to provide for stores, war 
ammunition, and provisions. The couriers, officers, and 
auditors, who came from France, called in at Vilna on 
their way, and w T ere sent on from thence by M. deBassano 
to the Emperor's headquarters. 

It was near Vilna that Napoleon met the Crown Prince 
of Wurtemburg at the head of his contingent. He 
blamed this Prince severely for the insubordination 
of the Wurtemburgers, who committed such disorders 
that complaints were being made on every side against 
these ruthless pillagers, both from the French and 
Polish authorities and from the inhabitants. The Emperor 
pointed out to the Crown Prince in a very violent 
manner, how urgent it was that these disorders should 
be checked. He listened to the remonstrances with 
coldness, and did not answer. The Crown Prince 
considered himself humiliated, and bore a grudge in 

We think that the following extract from General 
Gourgaud's w r ork, entitled " A Critical Examination 
of the Count de Segur's Work" will be read with 
interest. It gives some particulars of the way in 
which Napoleon usually spent his time when he was 
on campaign: — 

" The active life which he (the Emperor) led was sub- 
ordinated to the military operations. As a rule he used 
to ride along with the army when in pursuit of or 
near the enemy. When the army was engaged in 
grand manoeuvres and the operations took place at 
great distances he waited until the corps which were 
to march by approached the positions which he had 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 37 

ordered them to take up, and would then remain at head- 
quarters. There he used to receive the reports which 
were addressed to him either directly or through the 
Major-General by the officers in command of the various 
corps. In the meantime he used to give his attention 
to the home government of France, answer the reports 
which were sent to him from Paris by the ministers, 
who were in the habit of writing to him every day, 
and the reports of the ministers in council which were 
carried to him every week by an auditor of the Council 
of State, who was put at the disposal of the Intendant 
General of the army to be used in different missions. 
In this way he governed his Empire, at the same time 
that he directed his army. Economical with his time he 
calculated the moment of his departure so as to find 
himself at the head of his troops at the moment when 
his presence there became necessary. He would then 
proceed thither in his carriage with full speed. But 
even during this journey he did not remain idle, but 
busied himself in reading his despatches, and very often 
received reports from his generals, and answered them 
forthwith. Estafettes brought his despatches from Paris 
enclosed in a portfolio which was locked, and these 
despatches were sometimes given to him at the same 
time.* By means of a lamp which was placed at the 
back of his carriage, and which lighted up the carriage 
during the night, he was able to work as though he 
had been in his work-room. The Major-General usually 
accompanied him in these journeys. His aides-de-camp 
and orderlies marched by the door of the carriage, and 
a brigade of his saddle-horses followed with the escort. 
"Such was the privileged constitution of this extra- 

* Meneval points out that a word is wanting in this sentence. — R. H. S. 


ordinary man that he could sleep an hour, be awakened 
to give an order, go to sleep again, be awakened anew, 
without suffering for it in his health or in his rest. 
Six hours of sleep were sufficient for him whether 
taken consecutively or whether spread over intervals 
in the twenty-four hours. 

" On the days which preceded the battle he was 
constantly on horseback, reconnoitring the enemy's 
forces, deciding upon the battle-field, and riding round 
the bivouacs of his army corps. Even in the night 
he used to visit the lines to assure himself once more 
of the enemy's forces by the number of its fires, and 
would tire out several horses in the space of a few 
hours. On the day of the battle he would place 
himself at some central point, whence he could see 
all that was going on. He had his aides-de-camp and 
orderly officers by him, and used to send them to 
carry his orders in every direction. At some dis- 
tance behind the Emperor were four squadrons of 
the guard, one belonging to each branch of the service, 
but when he left this position he only took a platoon 
with him as escort. He used usually to inform his 
marshals of the place which he had chosen, so as to 
be easily found by the officers whom they might send 
to him. As soon as his presence became necessary 
he would ride off there at a gallop." 

I, on my side, can add to these details that every- 
where where the Emperor halted, whether at a castle, 
a cottage, or a hovel, his first care was for his 
work-room. As soon as Napoleon had taken possession 
of his temporary lodging, the portfolio containing his 
papers, his maps, and two or three mahogany boxes 
divided into compartments which contained his travelling 


library, were set out on tables, when tables were to 
be found, or on planks, or doors laid upon trestles. 
When there was only one room, his little iron bed 
and his toilet-bag" were also placed there. There he 
would dictate the numerous orders which it was 
necessary for him to send off. The Major-General 
who always lived within call used to lay the reports 
which he had received before him, and carry back the 
answers forthwith. 

When the operations of the war obliged Napoleon 
to remain for any length of time in one of his winter 
quarters, or in one of the capitals which he had 
conquered, his time was for the greater part taken 
up with the occupations of his cabinet. He attended 
to the needs of the army without neglecting the affairs 
or the details of the government of the Empire. He 
used to summon to him the minister secretary of state, 
who brought him the work which had been despatched 
by the council of Ministers and received instructions, 
orders, and decisions, which he was charged to forward 
to Paris. The Emperor despatched numerous orders 
providing for the repose of the troops, to assign the 
places which they were to occupy, to reorganize them, 
to prepare them to be in a better position to resume 
hostilities. He watched over the carrying out of his 
orders with the greatest care, and in order to better 
obtain this result he would frequently repeat them. 
He used to go out every day, no matter what the 
weather might be, to hold reviews. Sometimes he 
would undertake short excursions to visit the corps of 
his army or strategical positions. In the train of each 
corps he had a brigade of saddle-horses composed of 
six or seven horses, two of which were for his personal 


use, the others for his officers, a field bedstead, and 
a portmanteau containing changes of clothes. Napoleon 
used to lunch and dine every day with the Major- 
General, and with some marshals or general officers. 
He was fond of playing at whist after dinner, and 
sometimes at vingt-et-un, a game which he preferred 
because everybody present could take part in it. 
Over these games of cards he would forget the 
labours and the cares of the day. As a general rule 
he would never occupy himself with two things at the 
same time, his entire attention being given to the 
pleasures as to the duties of the moment. Moderate 
stakes only were played for, none the less Napoleon 
took a great interest in the game. He would sometimes 
associate one of the officers present in his game as a 
half partner, and if fortune favoured the Emperor, 
would hand over all his winnings to him. 

Familiar with the soldiers, benevolent towards the 
officers, Napoleon was accessible to all in the army. 
In the camp all etiquette was banished in the entirely 
military relations between the sovereign and his com- 
rades-in-arms. The private was authorized to leave 
the ranks, on presenting arms, and to lay any request he 
might have to make before the Emperor, either verbally 
or in writing. Such requests, whether they were granted 
or refused, were immediately attended to by the Emperor. 
When it happened that the petition could not be granted 
the soldier was always told the reason of such refusal, 
which was explained to him with kindness. Very often 
the refusal was compensated for by the grant of some 
other favour. If any officer had a confession to make 
to Napoleon, the Emperor was always ready to hear 
him, and would listen to him in a paternal manner. 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 4 1 

Before continuing the account of the Russian 
campaign, I must rectify a certain error which has 
been repeated by some of Napoleon's historians. It 
is a fact that the Prince of Wagram has been accused 
of having on various occasions transformed, or even 
suppressed orders which the Emperor had given him, 
or of having delayed to forward them. To make such 
a statement is to show one's complete ignorance of 
the way in which the Major-General used to work 
with Napoleon. The Major-General, who was always 
lodged within call of the Emperor, was, so to speak, 
endowed with the faculty of sleeping with one eye 
open, and he needed very little sleep. He was always 
found awake by the officer who bore the despatch 
which was sent to him. He would then proceed to 
the Emperor, followed by the officer, so that Napoleon, 
in case of need, could examine the latter. If the 
Emperor were in bed he would get up at once, put 
on a white swan-skin or pique dressing-gown and 
dictate an answer to the Major-General. The latter 
would send it as it was written to the marshals or 
generals, having at the same time copied into his 
book of orders the name of the officer who was 
charged with carrying it to its address, and the 
mention of the hour on which this officer had been 
despatched. Before giving another order the Emperor 
used to have the book of orders laid before him, and 
would re-read the preceding orders. The marshals 
and the generals never failed to add with the date of 
their letters the mention of the hour on which they 
wrote them. 

Anybody who knew Prince de Wagram is well 
aware that this marshal was incapable of committing 


such an abuse of confidence, both by the loyalty of 
his character, as by the feeling of his responsibility. 
Nature moreover had given him neither the spirit of 
intrigue nor the audacity requisite to defy the conse- 
quences of forgetting his duties in such a manner. 

I have heard it said that Prince de Wagram was 
a model of chief staff-officers, that his absence during 
the 1 8 1 5 campaig-n was fatal to the Emperor. I am 
far from wishing- to contest the talents of General 
Berthier, displayed in the campaigns of Italy, Egypt, 
the Consulate, and during the first campaigns under 
the Empire. He was young at that time, as Napoleon 
used to say of himself, and his comrades-in-arms, and 
he had his fortune to make ; but I should not be 
telling the truth if I did not add that in proportion as 
honours and riches came to General Berthier the 
solid and real qualities which had distinguished him 
diminished. In this connection I will simply relate 
what I witnessed during the 1812 campaign. The 
Emperor would often blame him for his carelessness 
in my presence. " Berthier, " he used to say to him, 
" I would give an arm to have you at Grosbois. Not 
only are you no good, but you are actually in my 
way." After these little quarrels Berthier would sulk, 
and refuse to come to dinner (he was Napoleon's 
habitual table-fellow). The Emperor would then send 
for him, and would not sit down to dinner until he 
had come; he would put his arms round his neck, 
tell him that they were inseparable, etc., would chaff 
him about Madame Visconti, and in the end would 
seat him at the table opposite him. 

On arriving in the evening at any place where he 
was to pass the night, the Emperor would often 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 43 

think it his duty to provide at once for the establish- 
ment of his guard, and the troops who had followed 
him, unless he had some pressing orders to give. 

He would remain on horseback and visit the 
bivouacs round his house to see if the soldiers had 
food, if communications between them were easy and, 
in one word, would fulfil the functions of a simple 
staff-officer. Whilst Napoleon was absent himself in 
this way the Major-General, leaving him to the 
occupation, would hurry off to his house, and settle 
himself in it. 

It happened that I was sent one day by the Emperor 
to the Major-General — I do not remember what for — 
and I found him alone in his bedroom, with his head 
on his hands, and his elbows on the table. He raised 
his eyes up to me glistening with tears. When I asked 
him what was grieving him he broke out into bitter 
complaint on the wretchedness of his position. " What 
is the good," he said, "of having given me an income 
of c£6o,ooo a year, a magnificent mansion in Paris, 
a splendid estate, in order to inflict the tortures of 
Tantalus upon me. I shall die here with all this work. 
The simplest private is happier than I am." Then, 
wiping his eyes with his hand: "Well! What is up 
now? Must send for Salamon, Leduc." These were 
his secretaries. Of course I took very good care not 
to repeat these remarks to the Emperor, who by the 
way, was only too well aware of the state of things. 
Napoleon was attached to Berthier, in spite of all his 
imperfections, by a bond which was a very strong 
one with him, the tie of custom. Later on, he 
regretted the absence of his old comrade-in-arms, not 
on account of the qualities which the Major-General no 

44 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

longer possessed, but because, having been long ac- 
customed to his services, the Emperor remained in the 
illusions of the past. A more capable chief of the 
staff would perhaps have rendered Napoleon better 
services, but nobody, in his eyes, could replace Berthier, 
who had begun with him, and who had never left him. 
Born in prosperous times, this superstitious confidence 
inspired the Emperor with a feeling of security, more 
apparent than real, in the collaboration of this old 
comrade-in-arms. I have heard Napoleon say that he 
had taken Berthier as a " gosling," and had transformed 
him into an eagle; and it must be admitted that he 
knew the man whom he had created Prince de Wagram. 
In 1814, indeed, at Fontainebleau, when Berthier 
asked his leave to go and spend two days in Paris, 
to put his affairs in order, the Emperor, having seen 
him depart, could not refrain from exclaiming : ■ There's 
one who won't come back." * 

The false position in which Major-General Berthier 
placed the French army at the beginning of the 1809 
campaign, has been censured from a technical point 
of view, and his military capacities have been disputed ; 
but this is a point on which I cannot dwell, because, 
in the first place, I am no judge of such matters, and 
secondly because I do not wish to expose myself to 
the accusation of having vilified him. Why, indeed, 
speak of the military talents of Prince de Wagram, 
who never was in chief command If he was in 

* Berthier did not come back. He made his submission to Louis 
XVIII. who created him peer and marshal. On Napoleon's return from 
Elba he retired to Bamberg, and committed suicide at the castle there, 
on June 1st, 1815, by dashing himself out of the window. He was 
buried in the Church at Banz, His son was an ardent supporter of 
Napoleon III.— k. 11. s. 


the secret of the most skilful combinations, of the most 
marvellous plans of campaign, genius cannot be 
acquired, nor did the Major-General do more than 
order the details of their execution. He can console 
himself for having occasionally drawn the Emperor's 
reproaches upon himself; for there is nothing humiliat- 
ing in certain criticisms, when they proceed from so 
superior a man as was Napoleon. There are how- 
ever, some people who are not convinced of the 
prodigious genius which is personified in the name of 

Napoleon Now Berthier, Talleyrand, and so many 

others never gave an order, and never wrote a despatch 
which had not been dictated by Napoleon. Napoleon 
had not alone the initiative of the conceptions, but 
further reserved to himself the details of all these matters. 
I do not say that he was altogether in the right 
in wishing thus to do all himself; but the superhuman 
activity of his genius carried him away, and he felt 
that he had the means and the time to suffice for all. 
His part was to organize, to create, and he filled this 
part in all its details; writing despatches, no matter of 
what nature; giving instructions for missions of every 
kind, military, administrative, financial, literary; draw- 
ing up notes to be presented by his ambassadors to 
the Courts to which they were accredited, and so on, 
all was written by him, as though at play, and with- 
out any apparent mental strain. In this way Napo- 
leon glorified the men whom he employed, since 
everything appeared to have been conceived and drawn 
up by them, whereas in truth it was all done by him. 
These digressions have made me lose sight of my subject. 
I hope the reader will pardon me. I am carried away, 
in spite of myself, by the tyranny of old remembrances. 

40 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Having left Vilna on July 18th, the Emperor marched 
to Gluboko'i where he established the army magazines, 
and thence to Becken-Kovitski, where, for a moment, 
he hoped to come up with the Russian army; and 
spent a day at the country-house of the Polish Count 
Kreptovich. This beautiful residence, the abode of 
the arts, decorated with very fine pictures and with 
flowers everywhere, which contrasted strangely with the 
horrors of war, was in perfect order when we entered 
it. This house had been so suddenly abandoned that 
every trace of its recent occupation still remained. 
There was still to be seen a cradle in which was the 
soft impress of the body of the child which had lain 
in it. The marriage of the master and mistress of 
this house had been accompanied by a tragical circum- 
stance, which was told to me on the scene of the 
drama. Mademoiselle de Renn, a Russian by birth, 
was loved by an officer named Arseniew, who was 
in the Russian Emperor's guards. This officer hearing 
of the projected marriage between Count Kreptovich 
and Mademoiselle de Renn, went to his rival and 
threatened to kill him if he persisted in his design. 
Kreptovich answered that this threat only decided 
him to hurry on the marriage; a duel followed in 
which M. Arseniew lost his life. A taste for the arts, 
for music and painting was stronger in Count Kreptovich 
than his love for the wife whom he had won at the 
point of his sword. He left his home for the hazards 
of a wandering life, went round the world, explored 
Asia and Africa, always bearing with him two inseparable 
vade-mecums, his violin, and a picture which he could 
not live without. 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 47 

After having lost at the battle of Ostrowno, in 
which it was at first thought that the entire Russian 
army would take part, the hope of inducing Barclai 
de Tolli, the Russian general, to engage in a great 
battle, Napoleon made his way to Vitepsk. He was 
tired of uselessly pursuing an army whose chief — and 
this is nothing but the truth — could not make up his 
mind to fight him. One day the Russian general 
seemed full of fire, determined to retreat no further 
without engaging in a decisive encounter. . . . The next 
day the phantom of Napoleon's presence once more 
impressed itself on his mind and all his resolutions of 
the day before vanished. 

The fact that Napoleon spent a fortnight at Vitepsk, 
and that during that time he gave orders for the 
construction of certain defences and the establishment 
of a large bake-house, gave rise to the idea that he 
wished to camp round this city and select this point 
for his line of defence. But it was impossible for him 
to terminate the campaign in the month of July without 
even having been able to come into contact with the 
enemy's army. The object of this halt was to rest 
the army, which stood in need of repose, and to watch 
the movements of the Russians. Hearing that they 
were leaving the vicinity of Smolensk to come and attack 
him the Emperor made haste to march to meet them, 
proceeding rapidly along the left bank of the Dnieper 
and ascending the course of this stream to reach 
Smolensk, before they had had time to return there. 
This movement, hiding the march of the French army 
from the enemy placed it on their flank and rear. 
The audacity and skill of this manoeuvre have been 
admired by the Russians themselves and it has been 


considered the finest of the campaign. But Napoleon's 
star was already waning. The eighth corps commanded 
by General Junot went astray on the road, and Marshal 
Ney's attack on the citadel of Smolensk was unfortunately 
unsuccessful. General Barclai, tardily apprised of the 
movements of the French army, hastened to return to 
Smolensk which was successfully defended during a 
whole day by two Russian divisions who were shut 
up in this fortified place, time being thus given to 
the two Russian armies to come to the rescue. 
Napoleon had hoped that Barclai would not let this 
city, the key of old Russia, fall into our hands without 
a decisive battle, but he only resisted long enough to 
cover his retreat and operate his junction with Bagration 
whose army had got past the French corps which had 
been ordered to cut off its retreat. 

The question as to whether a halt should be made 
at Smolensk was again discussed between Napoleon 
and his lieutenants. The reasons which had prompted 
the Emperor at Vitepsk to continue his march forward 
remained the same at Smolensk. The French army 
could only have ceased its movements and have taken 
up its quarters in these two cities if one of those 
splendid victories to which the French were accustomed 
had come to give hopes for peace. The Russians 
on the contrary had fought no battle to defend this 
bulwark of Russia and did not show themselves on 
the other hand at all disposed to open negotiations. 
It was then the month of August and it was quite 
out of the question for the French army to spend the 
rest of the summer at Smolensk. There was at that 
time no reason for retreating or for taking up a 
position behind rivers, which, frozen hard in the winter, 


would no longer be a protection against the enemy. 
Were we to wait in a continued attitude of defence, a 
kind of war which is antipathetic to the French 
character, at a distance of five hundred leagues from 
our frontiers .... to give our adversaries time to look 
round and to employ for our destruction the resources 
of every kind which they so easily derived from their 
native soil? Napoleon did not think so. The Russians 
would at last be forced to stand a battle to defend 
Moscow. There then lay peace. That is what the 
Emperor thought. One great victory and this great 
object was attained. The Emperor Alexander would be 
forced to treat. This peace, added Napoleon, would 
have limited our war expeditions. It was the crown 
of our efforts, the commencement of security. 

During the march of the French army on Smolensk, 
the encounter with a Russian division gave rise to the 
combat of Krasnoi. It was during one of the brilliant 
cavalry charges which were carried out during this 
combat that young Marbeuf was mortally wounded. 
The loss of this officer gave great grief to the Emperor. 
This young man had been presented to him by his 
mother, widow of Count Marbeuf, the former governor 
of the island of Corsica, whom she had married, when 
a widower. When Madame de Marbeuf presented her 
son to the Emperor in 1805, he was twenty years 
old. Napoleon admitted him amongst his orderly officers. 
The following letter, which we think right to reproduce, 
will show what remembrance Napoleon had retained 
of the interest formerly shown to the Bonaparte family 
by M. de Marbeuf. 



"Paris, 18 Ventose, Year XIII (March 9th, 1805). 
" M. de Marbeuf— officer in the 25th regiment of dragoons 
— I have granted you for life a pension of six thousand francs 
on the Crown treasure, and I have given orders to M. de 
Fleurieu, my intendant, to send you the warrant for the same. I 
am giving orders that there shall be paid to you out of my privy 
purse, a sum of twelve thousand francs for your outfit. It is 
my wish to give you, under all circumstances, a proof of the 
interest I take in you on account of the good recollection I 
have of the services rendered to me by your father, whose 
memory is dear to me. I rely in the hope that you will 
follow in his footsteps. And hereupon I pray God to have 
you in His holy keeping. 


The Emperor, so to speak, adopted this young man 
whom he intended to raise to a high degree of fortune. 
He had entailed a fine house at No. 11, Rue de 
Montblanc, upon him. This house had been bought 
from the Receiver-General Pierlot and, after M. de 
Marbeuf s death, the Emperor bestowed it on the Duke 
of Padua. 

Napoleon always used to treat young Marbeuf 's 
mother with great respect. It has been related that 
at the time of the establishment of the imperkil house- 
holds the Lady Mother suggested to Napoleon that he 
should appoint Madame de Marbeuf one of her 
ladies-in-waiting and that Napoleon refused from a 
feeling of delicacy. He is said to have answered: 
■ After what M. Marbeuf was for us, it would not be 
right for his widow to be in our service." 

Madame de Marbeuf, inconsolable for her son's death, 
separated herself from her daughter, who had married 
Count Louis d'Ambrugeac, who owed the favour in 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 51 

which he stood with the Emperor to this marriage, and 
who was a colonel in 18 13. She retired into the convent 
of the Sacred Heart and died there in 1839, at tne a §" e 
of seventy-six, the same age at which her husband, 
whom she survived fifty-three years, had died. 

After having set fire to Smolensk before leaving it, 
the enemy continued its retrograde movement. One 
half of the Russian army was attacked on the heights 
of Valoutinia-Gora by Marshal Ney's corps, supported 
by the Gudin division. These corps performed prodigies 
of valour in this encounter. The inconceivable action 
of General Junot, in command of the Westphalian 
troops, in refusing to march to the rear of the Russians 
and to cut off their retreat, saved the enemy's forces 
once more. Brave General Gudin had both his 
legs shot off by a cannon-ball in this engagement. 
As to Junot, he had disobeyed not only the repeated 
orders of the Emperor to march to Ney's assistance, 
but also the pressing request of the King of Naples, 
who had gone to him to convince him of what he 
ought to do. The Emperor heard what was going on, 
at Smolensk where he had remained, not foreseeing 
that this encounter might develop into a battle. When 
he arrived the struggle had nearly finished and the 
Russian army was continuing its retreat. Napoleon 
addressed the severest reproaches to General Junot but 
this unfortunate general was then already experiencing 
the first attacks of the mental malady which broke 
out with such violence a year later.* The Emperor 
had chosen Rapp, who spoke German, and who had 
all his wits about him, to take his place. The refusal 

*General Junot, Andoche, Duke of Abrantes (born October 23rd, 177 1) 
committed suicide, whilst insane, atMontbard on July 92th, 1813. — S.h.r. 


of Rapp, who interceded for his brother-in-arms, and 
a feeling of benevolence, which Napoleon could not 
help feeling for the oldest of his aides-de-camp, main- 
tained the Due d'Abrantes at the head of his army 
corps. General Gudin was transported to Smolensk 
but all the Emperor's care was unable to preserve his 
life. He died regretted by his sovereign and the whole 
army, who appreciated his eminent qualities. Gudin 
was buried in the citadel of Smolensk. 

Certain advantages gained by the right wing of the 
army, under the command of Prince Schwarzenberg, and 
an important success achieved on the left wing by General 
Gouvion Saint-Cyr, who had replaced Marshal Oudinot, 
who had been seriously wounded, in command, a success 
which won a Marshal's baton for the General, consoled 
the Emperor in some measure for all these mishaps. 

The army followed the Russians on their retreat 
without respite. After having set fire to the cities of 
Gjatz and Viazma and their rich bazaars, the enemy's 
forces halted at last at Mojaisk. There it was learned 
that Marshal Kutusoff had replaced General Barclai de 
Tolli * in the command-in-chief of the Russian army. 

On the eve of the memorable battle of Moskova, in the 
midst of the serious anxieties occasioned by the mur- 
derous fight in which he was about to engage, the 
Emperor received the portrait of his son. The Empress 
had commissioned M. de Bausset, who was proceeding 
to headquarters, to carry the young prince's portrait 
to his father. In his impatience the Emperor ordered 
the box containing the picture to be opened at once, 

*I have preserved Afeneval'a way of spelling this name, although the 
general's name is usually spelt Barclay de Tolly. He was of Scotch 
extraction (1759 — 18 1 8). — u. h. s. 


under his eyes. The royal infant was represented sitting 
in its cradle playing with a cup and ball. The ball 
might have been taken for the globe of the world and 
the cup-stick for a sceptre. Napoleon contemplated 
his son's picture with an emotion which was increased 
by the recollection of the distance which separated him 
from France as well as by the preparations for a battle 
which he had long wished for, but the approach 
of which filled him with anxiety. He ordered one of 
his valets to carry the picture outside his tent and to 
hold it up high enough that the sentry of the guards 
might see it. This sight brought all the officers and 
soldiers who were in the neighbourhood running up. 
To satisfy the curiosity of the military crowd, which 
kept increasing, the Emperor ordered the portrait of 
the King of Rome to be placed on one of the folding- 
chairs in his tent and left it standing all day in sight 
of the army. The sympathy and the sentiments of all 
these good soldiers ended by breaking out into a mani- 
festation which deeply touched the Emperor. 

Marshal Kutusoff awaited the French army, near 
the Borodino, in a fortified position defended in the 
middle by means of a great bastioned redout, flanked 
with other defence works. These redouts, stubbornly 
fought for, taken by the French and retaken by the 
Russians in turn, finally remained in our hands. 
General Montbrun and after him General Caulaincourt, 
brother of the Grand Equerry, met with a glorious 
death there. Three hundred thousand men fought on this 
murderous day of September 7 th with an unexampled 
implacability. Eight hundred cannon vomited forth 
death into the ranks of the two armies. This battle to 
which the Russians have given the name of Borodino and 


which the French call the battle of La Moskova is one of 
the most murderous battles which were ever fought. 
It may rightly be styled a battle of giants. The 
Russians admit having lost fifty thousand men, killed, 
wounded, or taken prisoners. This enormous loss must 
be attributed to the passive courage which they opposed 
to the attacks on the redouts, allowing themselves to 
be killed rather than to surrender them. The losses 
of the French army may be estimated at thirty 
thousand men put hors de combat. Thirty Russian 
generals and fifteen French generals were killed, 
wounded, or made prisoners. The two armies, sated 
with bloodshed, stayed their hands towards the e*nd 
of the day, the French army remaining master of all 
the positions and the Russian army preparing for a 

The Emperor Napoleon has been blamed for not 
having completed the routing of the enemy by ordering 
out the imperial guard which took no part in the 
action. He answered the remonstrances which were 
made on this subject with the following words: "If 
there's a second battle to-morrow, with what shall I 
fight it?" As a matter of fact Kutusoff thought of 
fighting a second battle on the morrow. If the 
respective states of the two armies be considered, one 
will be seen with its back to its capital, from which 
it is able to draw reinforcements and resources, an 
army fighting for its home and animated with religious 
and patriotic fanaticism; the other more than eight 
hundred leagues distant from France, without any 
moans of receiving Immediate reinforcements, and 
obliged finally to return home sooner or later. So 
great a captain as was Napoleon could not commit the 

meneval's memoirs or napoleon i. 55 

imprudence of remaining disarmed before the possible 
return on the offensive of an adversary who did 
not consider himself defeated. A reserve force of 
twenty thousand fresh men, as bold as were the 
imperial guards, could decide a victory in case a 
second battle became necessary. Was it not, indeed, 
the guard which later on protected our retreat? The 
Emperor allowed the young guard to occupy the field 
of battle, giving orders for its support in case the 
enemy, receiving reinforcements, should attempt a 
fresh attack during the night. 

After the bitterly contested day of La Moskova, 
Napoleon halted at a little country-house, situated at 
no great distance from the field of battle. The nights 
which he had passed in four consecutive bivouacs, 
where he had constantly been on his legs, and the 
great fatigues which he had had to undergo, gave 
him a cold which very soon degenerated into an 
extinction of the voice, which greatly annoyed him. 
He, whose hand could not suffice to write down the 
thoughts which flooded his volcanic brain, was seen 
reduced to the necessity of scribbling roughly the 
multifarious orders which had to be given in every 
direction, on little squares of paper. On the morrow 
he had already got rid of this passing ailment. 

After an encounter which was fought outside Moscow, 
an encounter which at first induced the belief that the 
Russians really intended to defend this city, the front- 
guard of the French army arrived in front of this old 
capital of the Russian Empire, and the sight of Moscow, 
which was to be seen from the heights, filled it with 
a joy which rapidly communicated itself to the rest 
of the army. It was hoped that repose and especially 


abundance would be found there. A curious and 
impressive sight was this sudden appearance of this 
great city, Asiatic rather than European, spreading 
out at the end of a desert and naked plain, topped 
with its twelve hundred spires and sky-blue cupolas, 
strewn with golden stars, and linked one to the other 
with gilded chains. This conquest had been dearly 
paid for, but Napoleon at that time lulled himself in 
the hope that he would be able to dictate peace there. 
The King of Naples, who entered it first, sent word 
to the Emperor that the city appeared to be deserted 
and that no civil or military functionary, nor nobleman, 
nor priest had presented himself. The Russian army had 
taken away the majority of the inhabitants of Moscow 
in its train. Some Russian and foreign dealers, who 
had managed to escape this order, came to see the 
Emperor and implored him to protect them against 
the pillaging with which they thought .themselves 
menaced. There had remained in the city only a few 
thousand people belonging to the lowest classes of 
society, who had nothing to lose by awaiting the 
course of events. 

Napoleon passed this night of September 14th in 
the Dorogomilow faubourg, and only entered Moscow 
on the morrow. This entry was not accompanied by 
that tumult which marks the taking possession of a 
great city. No noise disturbed the solitude of the 
city streets, save only the rumbling of the cannon and of 
the artillery caissons. Moscow seemed asleep in dorp 
sleep, like one of those enchanted cities of which we 
read in Arabian tales. The streets through which we 
passed were lined with houses of fine appearance for 
the most part, with closed windows and doors. Palaces 


with colonnades, churches and beautiful buildings 
glittering with the luxury of Europe and of Asia 
raised themselves side by side with very modest 
habitations. All bespoke the ease and wealth of a 
great city enriched by trade and inhabited by a 
wealthy and numerous aristocracy. Some of the prin- 
cipal houses which we were able to enter were well 
appointed and well furnished, many even magnificently 
so, and their inhabitants did not appear to have 
abandoned them for ever. 

The Emperor proceeded directly to the Kremlin, a 
large citadel placed in the centre of the town, on the 
top of a hill, surrounded with an embattled wall and 
flanked at intervals with towers armed with cannon. 
The Kremlin is a second city. It contains the imperial 
palace, the arsenal, the Senate palace, the archives, 
the principal public establishments, a large number 
of churches, temples filled with historical curiosities, 
objects serving for the coronation of the sovereigns, 
and lastly trophies and flags taken from the Turks. 
It is in one of the principal temples that are the 
tombs of the Czars. In this imposing fane reigns a 
magnificence which is half barbaric and of a primitive 
character. The walls are covered with thick plates of 
gold and silver on which are figured in relief the 
principal incidents of the Sacred History. Enormous 
silver lamps of Byzantine shape hang from the arches 
of the building, large many-branched chandeliers of 
the same metal stand on pedestals on the floor. There 
is also to be seen in this sanctuary a portrait of the 
Holy Virgin attributed to St. Luke, the frame of this 
picture is enriched with pearls and precious stones. 
A great bell-tower, known as the Ivan tower was 

58 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

surmounted by a gigantic cross in the centre of which 
was enchased a cross of pure gold containing a 
fragment of the true cross. This cross and a number 
of curious objects which could be removed were to 
be sent to Paris from the Kremlin. 

Hardly had the Emperor entered the Kremlin than 
fire broke out in the Kitaigorod, or Chinese city, an 
immense bazaar, surrounded by porticoes, in which 
were heaped up, in large shops or in cellars, the 
entrances to which were placed in the middle of the 
streets, precious goods of every kind, such as shawls, 
furs, Indian and Chinese tissues. Fruitless efforts were 
made to extinguish the flames, and the burning of the 
bazaar became the signal for a general conflagration 
in the city. This conflagration, spreading rapidly, 
devoured three-quarters of Moscow in three days. 
Each moment one saw smoke followed by flames 
breaking out of houses which had remained intact and 
in the end the fire broke out in every house in the 
city. The town was one mighty furnace from which 
sheaves of fire burst heavenwards lighting up the 
horizon with the glaring flames and spreading a burning 
heat. These masses of flame, mingling together, were 
rapidly caught up by a strong wind which spread 
them in every direction. They were accompanied by a 
succession of whistling noises and explosions caused 
by the falling walls and the explosion of inflammable 
materials which were stored in the shops and houses. 
To these roaring noises, to these sinister outbreaks 
added themselves the cries and yells of the wretched 
people who were caught by the flames in the houses 
which they had entered to pillage and which many 
escaped only to perish in the streets which formed a 


blazing labyrinth from which all escape was impossible. 
Motionless and in the silence of stupor we looked 
on at this horrible and magnificent spectacle, with the 
feeling of our absolute helplessness to render any 

Rapid and frequent gunshots announced that prompt 
justice was being meted out to the incendiaries who 
were taken in the act, still holding their sulphur fuses 
in their hands, and flying from the houses to which 
they had just set fire. The Emperor had given orders 
that a house which he could inhabit during his stay 
in Moscow should be found for him. The Sloboda 
palace, built and decorated with great luxury by the 
Empress Catherine, had been selected for this purpose. 
The Major-General and M. de Narbonne, one of the 
Emperor's aides-de-camp, went by his order to inspect 
this palace and found it perfectly suited for the purpose. 
The chandeliers were still filled with candles. This 
royal abode seemed to be deserted and entrance had 
to be made through a window. When General 
Narbonne returned to take possession of it, after 
having informed Napoleon of the result of his visit, 
the fire had already broken out in it in several places 
simultaneously, and on the morrow this palace was 
completely destroyed. 

Count Rostopchin, governor of Moscow, after having 
employed every means of acting upon the stupid minds 
of a credulous population, had had sufficient audacity 
to take upon himself the responsibility of destroying 
the second capital of the Empire. Did he take so 
cruel a resolution alone, or was he authorized by 
Alexander's secret consent to carry out this fearful 
auto-da-fe ? Did the incitations of the old Russian party 


weigh with all the weight of their fanaticism on the 
governor's savage decision ? One and all reject the 
responsibility of this terrible catastrophe. To accom- 
plish his detestable project, Rostopchin set a number 
of galley-slaves at liberty, distributed them over different 
quarters of the town, w T here they hid themselves in 
the principal buildings and in houses w r hich had been 
abandoned. Under the pretext of constructing an 
enormous balloon which was to pour down inflammable 
material on the French troops Rostopchin ordered the 
manufacture of fireworks for setting fire to the houses 
and of fuses to be thrown on the roofs of the houses. 
On leaving Moscow the governor had sent the inha- 
bitants of every class on before him, who carried off their 
most valuable belongings. He had even had the infernal 
inspiration of removing the fire-engines with him. Certain 
writers have had the courage to admire such a resolution. 
What advantage had Russia to gain from this fearful 
sacrifice? The examples of moderation given by the 
French army, during our soldiers' occupation of nearly 
every capital in Europe, did they not guarantee the 
victor's protection to the city of Moscow ? If the author 
of this destruction, after really being cruelly inspired 
thereto, had shared the dangers which resulted there- 
from and had buried himself under the ruins of the 
city which he had doomed to the flames, one might 
in an extremity excuse the excess of his fanaticism. 
But since then Paris has seen this same man, protected 
by our hospitality, seeking after the most refined 
pleasures of our civilization, applauding the jokes of 
our mountebanks, and manifesting the most profound 
indifference for a disaster for the horror of which his 
heart should ever have bled, even in the consciousness 


of having accomplished an act of lofty patriotism.* 
The flames which were consuming- Moscow reached 
the Kremlin and threatened the safety of its walls. 
The wind blew sparks and blazing fragments with 
violence, which falling into the courtyard of the arsenal, 
set fire to the tow with which the ground was covered. 
There was danger of the artillery caissons exploding. 
This danger, which was fortunately avoided, did not 
shake Napoleon's resolution, for his soul never knew 
the feeling of fear. He did not think it necessary as 
yet to leave the Kremlin, the danger which he ran 
there, deciding him, on the contrary, to remain. Prince 
Eugene and the Marshals of his guard in vain implored 
him to withdraw and in the meanwhile the conflagra- 
tion, drawing closer, increased in intensity. The panes 
in the windows of the apartment occupied by the Em- 
peror became red-hot and flames shooting out every- 
where, threatened to surround the Kremlin and to 
utterly destroy it. Napoleon, however, still hesitated. 
He was loth to flee from danger and to abandon a 
conquest which he had bought at such a price. He 
only yielded when it was pointed out to him that if 
he did not leave he might be separated from the corps 
which were stationed outside Moscow, with which all 
communications would be cut off, in case of an attack 
by the enemy. Napoleon then at last decided to leave 
the city and withdrew to Petrowskoi, an imperial 
residence situated at a distance of about one league 
from Moscow, whence the Czars used to depart to 
make their solemn entry into their ancient capital 

* Rostopchin denied having any part in the destruction of Moscow. 
See his " Verite sur Vincendie de* Moscou" published in 1824. His 
biography by de Segur, published in 1873, repeats this denial. — R. H. s. 

02 meneval's memoirs of napoleon k 

where the ceremony of coronation used to take place. 
The Emperor left the Kremlin, by one of its big 
gates, on foot, followed by his officers, and without 
any accident. On arriving at the Moskova quay he 
mounted on horseback and safely accomplished the 
ride from Moscow to Petrowskoi, passing through the 
quarters of the town in which the houses were entirely 
consumed and avoiding the streets where the fire 
was still in full activity. Napoleon thus avoided the 
danger of being crushed beneath the falling varnished 
iron plates, with which most of the buildings were 
covered, as the houses in the quarters through which 
he passed were already reduced to smouldering ashes. 
As a matter of fact, however, even in the quarters 
where the flames were at their height, the fall of these 
iron plates was menacing rather than dangerous and it 
was easy to avoid them. My colleague Mounier and 
myself drove through these quarters in a carriage and 
met w T ith no accidents. Napoleon spent two days at 
Petrowskoi and then returned to the Kremlin. 

On his return to Moscow, the Emperor did not limit 
himself to providing for the needs of the army alone, 
but gave the reins to his usual prodigious activity. He 
threw open to the wretched inhabitants who had 
remained in the town and who had been reduced by 
the fire to a state of utter destitution, refuges and 
shelters and at the same time ordered provisions and 
money to be distributed among them. He extended 
his solicitude to the wounded Russians and to the 
various establishments in Moscow. Amongst other 
establishments he protected the Foundling Hospital 
whither he betook himself, desired to see General 
Tutolmine, the director of this establishment and asked 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 63 

him to acquaint him with the situation of his institution. 
Napoleon also visited the hospitals, which he found 
wanting in necessaries. He gave orders that all 
available medical assistance should be brought together, 
and established a kind of medical agency for diseases 
of all kinds which he placed under the direction of 
the surgeon-in-chief of the army, the respected Doctor 
Larrey. The Emperor allotted convenient houses for 
the reception of the sick and wounded and ordered 
frequent reports on the situation to be laid before 
him. In one word Napoleon did everything in his 
power to assist this unhappy city which had been 
given over to anarchy, and to save for his army the 
resources which had escaped destruction. The arrival 
of M. de Lesseps, French consul general to Russia, 
who had come from St. Petersburg to join the Emperor 
in Moscow, gave Napoleon the opportunity to organize 
a municipal organization and local committees com- 
posed of natives of the place, at the head of which 
this agent , was placed. Vested with these difficult 
functions, M. de Lesseps took all the advantage that 
could be hoped for from intelligent zeal and sus- 
tained activity, of these feeble means of keeping order. 
When the fire had ceased, provisions of wines, 
brandies, meal, biscuits, potatoes, salted meats, sugar, 
coffee, and tea were found in the cellars, to which 
the flames had not penetrated. These provided ample 
resources. The houses were provisioned for several 
months and the inhabitants had left whatever could 
not be easily carried away. The starving Russian 
population rushed on all the places where they knew 
that some prey, easy to be devoured, was to be found 
and pointed out hiding-places to our soldiers to share 

64 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

the spoils with them. The Emperor was even forced 
to place sentries in all the shops and other provision 
storehouses to preserve them from being pillaged by 
this mob whose greediness was insatiable. 

After having in this way provided for the material 
wants of the army and of the inhabitants the Emperor 
devoted his attention to the soldiers' minds. He knew 
that theatrical performances were an excellent means 
for diverting the human mind from sorrowful thoughts 
and for recreating it. A troop of French comedians 
who had remained in Moscow under the management 
of Madame Aurore Barsay gave a number of performances 
which were enthusiastically attended by our soldiers. 
A clever Italian singer, who had come to Russia to give 
singing lessons, organized some concerts which were 
given before Napoleon at the Kremlin. And lastly 
the famous Moscow decree on the Comedie-Fran^aise 
dates from this period. 

The director of the Foundling Hospital having asked 
Napoleon for permission to write to the Dowager 
Empress, to inform her of the preservation of the 
establishment confided to his care, this princess being 
the patroness of the hospital, was asked to add pacific 
overtures to his letter. Two days later Napoleon wrote 
to the Emperor Alexander and commissioned the brother 
of the Russian ambassador to Stuttgart, who was at 
Moscow at the time, to carry this letter. Almost at 
the same time the Emperor sent General Lauriston to 
Kutusoff, the commander-in-chief, under the pretext 
of proposing an armistice, and carrying a second letter 
to the Czar. Kutusoff, pretending that he was obliged 
to ask for instructions, contented himself with sending 
the document which had been brought by Lauriston, 


by Prince Wolkonski, the aide-de-camp, but would 
not allow the French general to go to St. Petersburg. 
The commander-in-chief, moreover, an old Scythian, 
supple and cunning like half-civilized barbarians and 
like many other Russian generals, professed the 
friendliest disposition, whilst as a matter of fact the 
burning of Moscow which was attributed to the 
French, was already bearing its fruits. The authors 
of the destruction of the great capital, the sacred city 
of the Empire, had wished, by exciting the hatred of 
the nation to the highest degree against the invader, 
to render all reconciliation between the combatants 
impossible. And as a matter of fact, all attempts 
made to snatch Alexander away from British influence 
remained fruitless and without result. 

Napoleon did not yet despair of receiving some an- 
swer to his proposals but he spent all his time whilst 
waiting in Moscow in reorganizing and reinforcing his 
army, in completing the artillery teams with the horses 
ot the great pontoon-train, which we were forced to 
leave behind in the Kremlin, and with the horses of 
persons in the army who had more than was authorized 
by the regulations. The value of these horses was 
paid to their owners. By the Emperor's orders the 
ammunition of our army was increased by means of the 
stores ot powder which had been found in the buildings 
outside Moscow, which Rostopchin had forgotten to 
destroy, and by cannon-balls picked up on the field 
of battle. In one word nothing that might be of 
service to the French troops amongst the things found 
in this city after the conflagration was discarded. 
Whilst organizing assistance for our numerous sick and 
wounded Napoleon did not lose sight of the necessity 



of providing sufficient means of transport to remove 
them to Smolensk. He gave orders at the same time for 
the formation of stores of provisions, equipments and 
ammunition on our rear, and for the concentration at 
Smolensk of the artillery caissons and carriages which 
had been abandoned on the road over which the army 
had marched. Napoleon wished to make a great depot 
of this city, a centre and point of support for his present 
and future operations of war. He also had given orders 
and detailed instructions for the marches and destination 
of the 2nd and gth corps commanded by Marshals 
Dukes de Bellune and de Reggio, who had been sum- 
moned to Lithuania to support and reinforce the army. 
The disasters which fell upon the French army have 
prompted many well-thinking men to blame Napoleon 
for having stayed a month in Moscow. This halt, 
however, far from being a waste of time, was on the 
contrary barely long enough to enable the Emperor to 
put his army in a position to commence the retreat. 
The complete burning of the ancient capital of Russia 
was an occurrence which could not in the least be 
foreseen and which by disconcerting all Napoleon's plans 
was the chief reason of all the cruel misfortunes from 
which our brave army suffered afterwards. Did Count 
Rostopchin foresee this when he gave orders that 
Moscow was to be burned ? One may be allowed to 
doubt it. This individual's palace was one of the few 
houses which were spared by the flames. A memorandum 
was found there which he had laid before the Emperor 
Paul when he was at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
In this memorandum he submitted to the prince the 
line of policy which he advised in the relations of 
Russia with France. This memorandum had been 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 67 

drawn up after a conversation with the Czar at the 
time when the latter reconciled himself with the First 
Consul, in 1801, after the seven thousand Russian soldiers 
who were prisoners in France, had been sent back to St. 
Petersburg. The policy developed in this memorandum 
consisted in leaguing Russia with the head of the 
French Government, whilst secretly fomenting all causes 
of misunderstanding between England and France, 
exciting the spirit of natural rivalry which existed 
between these two countries, so as finally to drive them 
to war, and so to succeed, by means of their common 
enfeeblement, in raising Russian influence on the ruins 
of their preponderance. 

The news which we received from St. Petersburg 
apprised us that this city was greatly disturbed by the 
fear of seeing the French come there, after the taking 
of Moscow. As by an audacious manoeuvre on Napo- 
leon's part, this new capital of the Empire might fall 
into his power, the archives and precious objects had 
already been removed, and the Court as well as the 
leading families were already preparing to depart. 
The burning of Moscow seemed to show that Russia 
was decided to resist our armies to the death. In 
spite of this, so great was Napoleon's partiality for 
Alexander that the Emperor still flattered himself with 
the hope of removing the Czar out of the reach of the 
importunities and threats of the enemies of France, by 
enlightening him on his real interests. Alexander 
would soon recognize, he thought, the selfishness of 
the warlike counsels of Great Britain, in whose interests 
the coalition had each time stupidly gone to war. 
This hope was again deceived. Nearly a month had 
passed and no answer had come from St. Petersburg. 

68 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

The hopes which had been conceived and awakened 
both by the King of Naples and General Lauriston, 
were in no wise realized. Napoleon was forced to 
admit how completely he had deceived himself in hoping 
that Alexander would approach him with the purpose 
of peace. 

In the meanwhile Kutusoff was preparing an attack 
on the vanguard commanded by the King of Naples 
— by favour of a verbal promise which he had given 
to Murat that both armies should remain in their 
respective positions until the return of Prince Wolkonski, 
who had gone to St. Petersburg to deliver Napoleon's 
letter. A sudden attack of nearly the whole Russian 
army on our outposts decided the Emperor to begin 
his movement of evacuation and to approach himself 
to his reinforcements and store-houses. He had done 
all that duty and conscience prescribed to obtain peace. 
This object of the campaign and of so many efforts 
not having been obtained, Napoleon's plan was to 
retreat to Smolensk, to take up his winter quarters in 
Lithuania, and to prepare himself to commence the war 
again in the spring. The terrible severity of this 
exceptional and premature winter, which disorganized 
our fine army and caused it such cruel sufferings, 
opposed an unsurmountable obstacle to the realization 
of these plans. The terrible' cold which assailed our 
unhappy soldiers during the retreat, and killed them 
by thousands, was the cause of the disastrous issue of this 
memorable expedition. 

Already on October 6th, the Emperor had ordered 
arrangements to be made for the evacuation of such 
of the wounded as could be removed. A convoy, in 
which w lis General Nansouty, who was wounded himself, 


MENEVAL'S memoirs of napoleon i. 69 

left some days later under command of General 
Claparede. Trophies which consisted of the valuable 
historical relics taken from the Kremlin were sent off 
from Moscow at the same time. 

Napoleon left the Russian capital on October 19th, 
a very fine day. He only left seven or eight thous- 
and men behind him who were to follow him under 
Marshal Mortier after they had blown up the fortifica- 
tions of the Kremlin. In the rear of the army, marched 
in numerous lines of extraordinary length a huge 
number of carriages filled with sick and wounded; 
chariots, ber lines, open carriages, waggons laden with 
provisions, clothes and booty of every description. 

The army took the road to Mojaisk by which it 
had come, but in order to hide his march from General 
Kutusoff, the Emperor feigned a march on Kaluga. 
Napoleon was two leagues beyond Borowsk and 
twenty leagues from Moscow when he heard that 
Prince Eugene's corps had been attacked at Maloja- 
roslavetz by superior forces. He marched there forth- 
with and was able to reach it with sufficient speed to 
give his orders in good time. In this bloody encounter 
sixteen thousand French and Italian soldiers triumphed 
over sixty thousand Russians. This victory, dearly 
paid for, was marked by the death of the intrepid 
General Delzons and of his young brother who, cover- 
ing the general with his body, as a rampart against 
the enemy, fell struck by a ball near his brother's 
corpse, the victim of his touching devotion. This 
attack by the Russians at Malojaroslavetz had gener- 
ally given rise to the idea that they were anxious to 
engage a decisive action, and this decided Napoleon 
to halt in a little village called Gorodnia, in the 

;o meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

vicinity. But having scoured the plain, it appeared 
to him that the enemy was preparing to retreat. 
Napoleon in consequence returned to the place from 
which he had come, strengthened in his resolution to 
follow the direction which he had ordered for the 

On his return at night-fall to the poor weaver's 
cottage which he occupied at the Gorodnia bivouac, 
the Emperor narrowly escaped being carried off in a 
sudden dash made by some Cossacks. He was 
escorted only by three platoons of chasseurs and Polish 
lancers belonging to his guard, besides whom were 
the aides-de-camp and orderly officers who accompanied 
him. One of these officers, named Lecoulteux, was 
struck, in the course of the medley, by a chasseur of 
the Emperor's escort who ran him through the body. 
This chasseur had mistaken the officer for a Cossack, 
because he wore a green coat over his uniform and 
was holding a lance which he had wrested from a 
Cossack in his hand. By an extraordinary piece of 
good fortune, this terrible wound did not kill M. 
Lecoulteux, who only died in 1845. 

The army saw the field of battle of La Moskova 
again, with emotion. The great abbey of Kolotskoi 
which had been used as a hospital, was still occupied 
by Russian and French wounded soldiers whose lives 
had been preserved by the devotion of some of our 
surgeons. Napoleon ordered all the sick and wounded 
French soldiers who could be moved to be placed on 
the carriages which followed the army. 

We passed through Gjatz and Yia/ma, once so 
pros] x Tons, but where now, since the passage of the 
Russian troops who had set fire to them and driven 

MENEVAL'S memoirs of napoleon i. 71 

the wretched inhabitants out before them, solitude and 
death reigned. At Viazma the enemy tried to bar 
our way, but was dispersed by the corps under the 
command of Prince Eugene and Marshal Davout. 

Till then the weather had been fairly mild with a 
bright sun, but on November 6th, when the army 
was about two days' march from Smolensk, the first 
snow fell. In one night the thermometer went down 
to twelve degrees below zero and two days later to 
eighteen degrees. From that time forward the cold 
grew worse and worse. We hoped to find provisions, 
clothes, and fodder at Smolensk, for Napoleon had 
frequently repeated his orders that stores of all kinds 
were to be collected in abundant quantities in this 
town. But this expectation was doomed to disap- 
pointment owing to an incomplete execution of his 
orders and the perfidy of various agents in the supply 
department, and the army was forced to continue its 
march in the same state of destitution. Before arriving 
at Smolensk the Emperor had heard of the Mallet 
conspiracy of which I shall speak later. 

An act of neglect on the part of General Baraguey- 
d'Hilliers who was in command at Smolensk and the 
capture of one of his brigades who capitulated and 
laid down arms, greatly angered the Emperor against 
this general, whom he deprived of his command and 
sent off to Berlin. It was a complication of misfortunes. 

Napoleon remained several days in Smolensk to 
rally the laggards and to give some rest to the remnants 
of his army which was literally melting away under the 
influence of the cold and the privations. It became, 
however, necessary to leave the town. From that time 
forward the most hideous calamities never ceased to 


assail the French army. Each night at the bivouacs 
we lost thousands of horses whose flesh served to 
stay the hunger of the soldiers. Our cavalry found 
itself on foot, our artillery was without teams. Napoleon's 
great fame however influenced the enemy, and no 
serious action was attempted. At Krasnoi, wishing 
to instil prudence into the enemy, and to prove that 
our disasters had not abashed the courage of our army, 
the Emperor ordered General Roguet who was com- 
manding a division of the young guard, to make a 
night attack on a Russian corps which was stationed 
near this town and which threatened the left of our 
road. This brave attack was fully successful although 
the hands of our soldiers were so numbed by the 
excessive cold that they could hardly hold their rifles. 
A young auditor to the Council of State perished 
in this encounter, victim to his devotion. M. de 
Villeblanche had been sent to head-quarters with the 
portfolio containing the work of the ministers. The 
Empress Josephine had charged me in a pressing 
letter to recommend him in her name to the Emperor 
as the son of one of her best friends. This interesting 
young man had been left at Smolensk in the capacity 
of intendant. He would certainly have experienced 
the effects of Napoleon's good-will later on, had he 
not been reserved for a tragic end. As the army was 
leaving Smolensk, the auditor followed it on its retreat. 
Falling in during an encounter with one of the vice- 
roy's officers, who was wounded and could hardly 
drag himself along, he ran up to him and supported 
him in his arms to help him along, when a cannon- 
ball came and finished off the wounded man, at the 
same time killing his generous supporter. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 73 

On leaving Smolensk the Emperor had ordered 
Marshal Ney to act as his rear-guard and not to leave 
the town until he had destroyed its fortifications. Ney, 
who was to be supported by Marshal Davout, set out 
on November 17 th. But in the night of the same 
day, the enemy manoeuvred so as to separate Marshal 
Ney's corps from Davout's corps. The latter was one 
march ahead of Ney. The Emperor on hearing at 
Krasnoi of the movement which had been effected by 
the Russian troops, thought only of the best means of 
freeing the corps of his two marshals, whom he 
considered in common danger, by drawing the enemy 
upon himself. Free to continue his retreat or forced 
to fight so as not to abandon these two corps, Napoleon's 
choice was never doubtful. He returned in consequence 
to attack the enemy on the morrow. Having left 
Krasnoi at daybreak with a handful of men he 
attacks the Russian army, protected by powerful 
artillery, marches upon the enemy at the head of his 
guards, disconcerts it by this audacious aggression, 
forces it to leave its position on the road and give 
free passage to Marshal Davout's corps. In the mean- 
while however Marshal Ney's corps does not appear. 
Indeed no news can be heard of it, and the rear-guard 
left by the Emperor at Krasnoi is on the point of 
being carried, and the army's retreat is in danger of 
being cut off by Orcha. Napoleon makes up his 
mind to return to Krasnoi, grievously anxious in his 
mind by the uncertainty which overhangs Marshal 
Ney's fate, and to continue his retreat. The Emperor 
considers Marshal Ney lost. 

Napoleon's generous resolution in this circumstance, 
where he exposed himself to being surrounded by the 


Russians in order to rescue his two marshals did him 
great honour even in the eyes of the enemy. It also 
shows the vigour of mind which he knew how to 
preserve in the midst of the greatest disasters. 

The episode of Marshal Ney's separation from the 
army after his departure from Smolensk, has excited 
so much interest that I cannot resist the temptation to 
relate the principal phases of this adventure, although 
the story has already been told. 

The corps of Marshals Ney and Davout, had been 
left at Smolensk, as I have already related, to protect 
the retreat and to blow up the fortifications of this 
town before abandoning it. Marshal Davout -left 
Smolensk on November 1 6th to reach Krasnoi. Marshal 
Ney's corps" which was under orders to form the 
extreme rear-guard, only left it on the morrow to 
follow the same direction. It consisted of about six 
thousand soldiers with twelve cannon. It was followed 
by a large quantity of baggage which had remained 
behind and by a multitude of laggards from the other 
corps whom the fear alone of the Russian cannon 
determined to place themselves under the Marshal's 
protection. But during the night and before it was 
dislodged, as has been seen, by Napoleon, the enemy 
had occupied a strong position on the road from Smolensk 
to Krasnoi, and Ney — in spite of unheard-of but fruit- 
less efforts to force his way through — remains with 
his single corps, separated from the whole of the 
French army. In this critical situation, reduced to his 
own scanty forces, surrounded by enemies ten times 
superior in numbers, in an icy and unknown land, the 
Marshal never wavers and buoys up his comrades in 
misfortune. He marches on with his troops in good 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 75 

order harassed by the Russian army, forced to restrain 
an undisciplined gang which at each cannon-shot rushes 
into the ranks of his soldiers. Marshal Kutusoff sends him 
a summons by an officer to surrender, pointing out to him 
that no chance of escape remains to the little French troop. 
Ney replies to this summons, which it may be added 
was accompanied with the flattering expressions and 
courtesies which were thought the due of so great a 
warrior, by detaining the officer who brought it as 
prisoner of war. Eighty thousand Russians, occupying 
the heights, batter down his feeble troops. Instead of 
weakening, the Marshal's courage rises to the pitch of 
heroism. He reassures his soldiers and fills them with 
his intrepid valour. They follow their chief blindly in 
a furious attack against these masses and break down 
their first line. This courage of despair impresses the 
enemy, which contents itself with following them, with- 
out essaying to attack them. Ney's soldiers close 
round their Marshal in whom alone they personify 
safety, drawing indomitable resolution from his eyes. 
In searching a village they find a peasant who con- 
ducts them to the • banks of the Dnieper. This great 
river has to be crossed, but they have no pontoon-train 
and the ice is floating down the river, except at one 
point where owing to some obstacles the ice-floes have 
stuck fast. The Marshal might have taken advantage 
of the rest of the day to try and cross, but half his 
men are still in the rear. He will halt to rally them, 
and whilst awaiting their arrival, this valiant man of 
war, who carried in a robust body a soul which was 
inaccessible to fear, wraps himself up in his cloak and 
goes to sleep on the snow. His troops having come 
up, they begin to cross the river at midnight. The 

7 6 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

first battalions succeed in reaching the other side. 
Those who come last and the artillery break in through 
the ice-floes. The Marshal strains every muscle, pres- 
ent everywhere, he stretches out his hand to the one, 
encourages the other. This difficult crossing takes 
place in spite of a thousand dangers, but a part of 
the small army, which there is no means of getting 
across, remains on the left bank with the laggards, the 
baggage and the artillery train. 

In the meanwhile the Marshal and his decimated 
troop set out on the march again and arrive at a big 
village where each and all hope to get some rest after 
so many terrible fatigues, but thousands of Cossacks, 
commanded by Hetman Platow, pour down upon our 
soldiers on every side. Ney's heroic attitude, however, 
restrains these savages. The Marshal wishes to take 
advantage of the night to decamp without noise, but 
scarcely has he taken his first steps than he is received 
with a rolling fire of artillery. He marches thus, 
during three days, followed by six thousand Cossacks, 
before whom he retires slowly, with no cannon, no 
cavalry, even as a lion pressed by the hunters, ad- 
vancing front wood to wood, taking advantage of all 
the cover afforded by the ground, keeping the enemy 
at a respectful distance, turning upon them when this 
enemy pressed him too close and putting them to flight 
with a handful of men, weak or wounded, all exhausted 
with cold, fatigue, and hunger. Each step taken by 
this valorous cohort is marked by a fierce encounter. 
At last after so much misery and so many cruel ad- 
ventures, in which it is seen what the energy of a 
single man can accomplish for the safety of all, Ney 
and his soldiers arrive in sight of Orcha, with the fear 


lest this town be in the hands of the enemy. The 
Marshal detaches some Poles to reconnoitre. On 
seeing them Prince Eugene assembles some thousand 
men and at once marches to Ney's rescue, falling into 
his arms when he meets him, with tears of joy and 
emotion. No words could describe the astonishment, 
the emotion, the curiosity with which the two corps re- 
ceived each other, mingled and embraced, so greatly do 
men's minds unite and exalt them in the presence of a 
common adversity. The Emperor who had been filled 
with grief and anxiety by Ney's disappearance, hears 
of this veritable resurrection from his orderly officer, 
Gourgaud. He doubted the truth of the news of this 
unhoped-for return, then transported with joy, he cried 
out : " I would have given the treasure in my vaults 
in the Tuileries palace rather than have lost so brave 
a man."* Marshal Ney fully justified that idea ex- 
pressed by Napoleon in the hyperbolical language 
which he was accustomed to use : " Better an army 
of deer commanded by a lion, than an army of lions 
commanded by a deer." 

I saw that the Emperor was troubled with griev- 
ous anxiety during all the time that he was without 
news of Marshal Ney. Napoleon could have found 
some comfort for the death of this illustrious warrior on 
some glorious battle-field, but he would have suffered 
bitter regret at the obscure immolation of a whole 
army corps and its valorous chief. 

Napoleon's remark about Ney, in which he alludes 
to his treasure, gives me the opportunity of remarking 

* Was this exclamation, appraising Marshal Ney, quite in good taste 
on Napoleon's part? To me it smacks of the parvenu, unaccustomed 
to millions. — R. H. s. 

73 mkxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

that it was not three hundred nor two hundred 
millions which the Emperor had in his vaults in the 
Tuileries. This treasure, which was the result of savings 
during ten years out of the civil list — and only apart 
of which was in specie — never exceeded one hundred 
and forty millions. Almost this entire sum was used 
in days of adversity, in reorganizing the army, or in 
providing for the needs of the different public services 
during a time of crisis. The rest, about twelve mil- 
lions, was confiscated in 1814, by the provisional 
government, under a notoriously lying pretext. 

Such of the wounded as could be moved had been 
placed in all the carriages without exception, in the 
Emperor's carriages as well as in the carriages of the 
army. Napoleon's own horses had been used for this 
purpose. His solicitude for the honourable victims of 
this war and his indefatigable activity displayed them- 
selves on this occasion as they had done during all 
his campaigns in Italy, Egypt, Germany and Spain. 
The following letter addressed to Marshal Mortier who 
remained the last in Moscow, is a proof which may 
be quoted amongst others. The Emperor writes: 

"I cannot too strongly commend all the wounded that are 
left to you. Place them on the carriages of the young guard, 
on those of the cavalry on foot, in short on every carriage 
that you can find. — The Romans used to give crowns to 
those who saved the lives of citizens, how many crowns will 
you not deserve in my eyes for all those whom you shall 
save? Put them on our own horses, on everybody's horses; 
it is what I did at Acre. Begin with the officers, take the 
under-officers next, and give the preference to the French. 
Assemble the generals and the officers who are under your com- 
mand and impress upon them what humanity expects of them 
under these 1 ircumstances." 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 79 

The two sons of Prince Mark of Beauvau, who had 
made a very brilliant commencement in this campaign, 
were now following the retreat. The elder, a lieutenant 
of carbineers, was seriously wounded, having had his 
thigh broken with a lance-wound in ' the affair at 
Winkowo. He owed his life to the Emperor, for Napo- 
leon had him placed in one of his carriages, recom- 
mending him specially to the Grand Equerry, and 
frequently asked with interest for news of him during 
the retreat. The Emperor held the parents of the 
young Beauvaus in high esteem and these on their 
side never forgot the kindnesses which they had re- 
ceived from him. Prince de Beauvau was one of 
the chamberlains who had been most in attendance. 
On Napoleon's return from the island of Elba, M. de 
Beauvau resumed the functions of his post and sat in 
the imperial chamber of peers.* Princess de Beauvau 
was a lady-in-waiting in the Empress's palace. The 
Emperor had a particular regard for this lady and had 
thought to give her a striking proof of this regard — 
as I mentioned in its place — at the time of the forma- 
tion of the Empress Marie Louise's household. 

*Marc Etienne Gabriel de Beauvau (1773 — ^49) was created a peer 
in 183 1. — R. h. s.' 


Doubrowna Alert — Napoleon Provides Himself with a Dose of Poison — 
He Orders His Baggage and Private Papers to be Destroyed — The Cursed 
Battalion — The Crossing of the Beresina — Devotion of the Pontoniers — 
Horrible Confusion Caused by the Breaking of the Bridges — The Emperor's 
Presence of Mind and Superhuman Activity — Despatches Retained at 
M>lodetschno to Learn the Circumstances of the Mallet Conspiracy — This 
Person's Monomania for Conspiracy — The Emperor Leaves Smorgoni for 
France Preceded by the 29th Bulletin — His Visit to Warsaw and Dresden 
— His Arrival in Paris — Reflections — Effect Produced by the 29th Bulletin — 
The Emperor's Opinion on the Russian Campaign — " The Bow is Overstrained" 
— Audiences Given to the Principal Corporations of the State — Napoleon 
Orders a Report on the Mallet Affair to be Laid Before Him — King Louis 
Asks to be Allowed to Return to Holland — Our Losses Repaired with 
Extraordinary Diligence — Reorganization of the Army — Public Sympathy — 
Creation of Regiments of Guards of Honour — M. des Netumieres — Alarming 
N< ws Received from the Army — Desertion of the Prussian Corps — The 
Austrian Corps Enters Galicia Once More — The King of Naples Leaves 
Posen for His States — He is Replaced by Prince Eugene— News from Spain 
— Definite Evacuation of Madrid — Concordat of Fontainebleau — The Pope 
Regrets Having Signed It — Affairs in Germany — M. de Narbonne takes 
M. Otto's Place in Vienna-Inspection of Public Establishments in Paris — 
Municipal Works— Visit Paid by the Emperor and the Empress to the 
Invalides — Opening of the Legislative Session — Plan for the Empress's 
Household — Napoleon's Liking for M. de Narbonne — The Emperor's System 
of Fusion — I am Appointed Secretary of Commands to the Empress — 
Regency — Regulation of the Order of Service — Settlement of the Empress's 
Jointure — The Emperor and Empress's Kindness Towards Me — Arrival of 
Prince Schwarzenberg in Paris — The Emperor's Departure for the Army — 
First Essay in the Exercise of the Regency — The Victory of Lutzen — 
Conference Between Prince Schwarzenberg and Due de Bassano — Mistrust 
of Austria — The Due de Vicence is Sent to the Emperor Alexander — He 
is Not Received — Victories of Bantzcn and Wurtschcn — Truce — Correspond- 
ence Between the Emperor and the Empress-Regent — The Duke of Otranto 
and the Duke of Bassano are Summoned to Dresden— Losses to the Emperor 
by the Deaths of de Bessieres and Duroc — His Grief — The Emperor's 
Scruples — A Court Intrigue — The Empress's Journey to Mortfontaine — 
Interview of M. de Metternich with the Emperor in Dresden — Austria's 
Bad Faith — The Emperor Asks the Empress to Meet Him at Mayence — 
Orders Given on this Head — Stay at Mayence— The Emperor Returns to 
the Army His Re-entry of Dresden— The Affair of the Antwerp Customs — 
The Empress Returns to Paris, Descending the Rhine— The King of Rome 
Grows in Strength and Intelligence — Journey bo Cherbourg— The Sea Let 
[nto the Harbour Basin— The Congress of Prague— Austria Acts as Mediator 

Reason of the Late Arrival oi the Plenipotentiaries .it the Congress — 

Ju^t Circumspection of the Emperor— Austria's Partiality — Deception — All 

Propo J Rejected — Ultimatum ol the Allies— Rupture of the Congress — 

i ofl the Mask Napoleon's Answer is Considered Too Late — 

lity "i Political Marriages— Fouche's Insinuation on de Metternich's 

Venality Council Held at Vienna — Injustice of the Reproach Addressed to 



the Due de Bassano — Austria's Desertion Grieves the Empress— She Writes 
to Her Father — The Emperor's Departure from Dresden for Silesia — Hurried 
Return to Dresden— Battle of Dresden — Moreau Struck by a French Cannon 
Ball — Honours Paid by Alexander to His Memory — Pension Allotted by 
Him to His Widow — The Baton of Marshal of France Handed Later on to 
Madame Moreau by Louis XVIII. — Honours Paid to the Memories of 
Pichegru, Georges, and Others — Disasters at Culm— Unfortunate Illness of 
the Emperor — A Series of Desertions— The Opposition of Certain French 
Generals — The Emperor's Hardy Plan — Levy of Anticipated Conscriptions — 
The Empress-Regent at the Senate — The Emperor Leaves Dresden, Leaving 
the Corps of Marshal St. Cyr Behind Him — Battle of Vachau — Disastrous 
Day of Leipzig — The Treachery of the Saxons — Farewell Between the 
Emperor and the Saxon Royal Family — Farewell of the Emperor and the 
King of Naples — Victory at Hanau— Flags Sent to the Empress— The 
Emperor at St. Cloud. 

THE Emperor's firmness and resolution grew in 
proportion with the dangers ot the critical position 
in which he found himself placed. At Doubrowna a 
singular alarm spread round the bivouac. Dawn was 
beginning to break, when the camp was thrown into 
a state of tumult. At the first sounds thereof I 
made haste to dress and hurried to the house where 
the Emperor had passed the night, near which I was 
lodged. I met Count Daru under way, also going there 
and fully as anxious as I was. We found Napoleon, 
half-dressed, on the threshold, giving orders that the 
Cossacks who no doubt had caused this scrimmage 
should be driven off. But it was not an attack by 
the enemy which had caused all this confusion. It 
was the loud cries of calling somebody whose name 
was Ozanne. This name, repeated from bivouac to 
bivouac, had given rise to the belief that a call " aux 
amies" was being made. Such an alarm might any 
day entail serious dangers in the state of disorder 
inseparable from the disorganization of the army 
corps and in view of the fact that the camp was very 
carelessly guarded. Napoleon rode through the camp, 
ordering the guards and the troops to redouble in 

82 MENEVAL'S memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

vigilance and to charge themselves with the care ot 
seeing that a supervision and a discipline which had 
become more than ever necessary were maintained. 

This circumstance, the remembrance of the alert at 
Gorodina and similar dangers to which he saw himself 
exposed, the anxiety which he felt at the time 
as to what had become of Marshal Ney, of whom 
we had no news, filled the Emperor w T ith grave and 
sad reflections. In $805, after Austerlitz, the respect 
of a Marshal of France for a king's w r ord of honour, 
given with but little scruple, had preserved Alexander 
from the misfortune of falling into the hands of a 
detachment of French troops — but Napoleon had seen 
that this prince had retained no friendly recollection of 
the tacit approval which he had given to Marshal 
Davout's conduct on this occasion. The Emperor 
knew that the Czar was to-day dominated by the 
more than hostile influence of his enemies, from whose 
fury he might expect anything. Napoleon could not 
bear the idea of having to serve, in case of misfortune, 
to adorn the triumph of these implacable adversaries. He 
asked his ordinary medical adviser, Doctor Yvan, in conse- 
quence, to give him a dose of poison, which was 
contained in a sachet which he could carry round his 
neck, and which was to spare him the humiliation of 
falling alive into the hands of the Cossacks and of 
being exposed to the insults of these savages. 

The army found some stores, forty cannon, and two 
pontoon trains at Orcha. The two heavy pontoon 
trains were sacrificed (a sacrifice which later on 
was to be very fatal to the issue of our retreat) 
because they would have stuck in the broken-down 
roads, and in order to employ the few horses that 


remained for the artillery trains. To leave as little as 
possible to serve as trophies to the enemy, Napoleon 
ordered almost all his carriages, his luggage, and the 
secret papers contained in the portfolio which was in 
my hands to be burned. It was from this portfolio 
that I derived the title of " Secretary to the Portfolio " 
with which the Emperor had invested me. 

The cavalry being entirely on foot, there was 
spontaneously formed a squadron of from five to six 
hundred men, composed of officers who still had a 
horse each, to watch over Napoleon's person. The 
officers formed the privates of this squadron, the non- 
commissioned officers were colonels and the officers, 
generals. This squadron later on took the name of 
" the cursed battalion " because those who composed it 
lost their horses one after the other. It was commanded 
by General Grouchy under the orders of the King of 

The Emperor having fully informed himself which was 
the best road to take, decided to march rapidly from 
Orcha to Borisow hoping to reach the Beresina before 
the enemy who were manoeuvring to close the road 
of Vilna against us. Admiral Tchitchakovv, command- 
ing the army of Moldavia, who by a treaty of neutral- 
ity concluded with the Russians by the Austrian 
general, Prince Schwarzenberg, enjoyed full liberty of 
action, had marched to this river. He had crossed it 
at first, but having been driven back by Marshal 
Oudinot, had recrossed it and had destroyed the bridge. 
Napoleon and the French troops then found themselves 
in a most dangerous position. The Emperor had with 
him less than forty thousand men, including the corps 
of Bellune and Reggio, surrounded by more than one 


hundred thousand Russians supplied with everything, 
fighting on their own native ground, whilst half our 
soldiers were exhausted by the cold and by horrible 
fatigues, being moreover mentally depressed by 
so many reverses and the great distance which 
separated them from their fatherland. The imminence 
of the danger, far from weakening Napoleon's energy, 
tempered all the valour of his vigorous mind and 
indefatigable genius. Having succeeded in duping the 
enemy by feigned manoeuvres, he succeeded in cross- 
ing the Beresina beyond Borisow. The change to 
mild weather which, under all other circumstances 
would have been a blessing to our soldiers, brought 
on the contrary fresh misfortunes upon us; for the 
solid ice would have served us as a bridge, whereas 
the thaw having broken up the ice, the Beresina 
drifted innumerable ice-floes. In order to construct 
trestle-bridges, our brave sappers and pontoniers, under 
command of General Eble, were frequently forced to 
plunge into the icy water up to their shoulders, 
hampered in their movements and often wounded 
by the ice-floes which were dragged along by the 
current. In spite of so much suffering and so many 
obstacles, these brave fellows constructed several 
bridges, rapidly and with admirable devotion, over 
which the remnants of our unhappy army crossed the 
river in turn in an order which had been commanded 
by the Emperor who superintended the operation in 
person. The bridges broke down several times, a 
circumstance which aggravated the fatigues of our 
brave pontoniers, who were forced to repair the dam- 
age and begin their work over again. In spite of 
Napoleon's exhortations and repeated commands sent 


over the water that the opposite bank should be 
evacuated, there remained behind some thousands of 
laggards and non-combatants who could not make up 
their minds to abandon their innumerable carriages of 
every kind and their baggage. They only could make 
up their minds to do so when the enemy's cannon 
began to scatter dismay and death in the midst of 
this frantic mob. The confusion then became inex- 
pressibly horrible, and the breaking-down of the bridges 
which gave way beneath the weight of these unhappy 
men, left all those who had not been able to cross 
the river in the power of the Russians. It would be 
a task beyond my power to describe the misfortunes 
of this day so deplorable under one aspect and yet at 
the same time so full of glory for the bravery of our army. 
It is in the midst of great dangers that the character 
of the French soldier reveals itself. Never did he 
show himself so great as in this catastrophe, emulating 
his chiefs in heroism. Napoleon's presence of mind 
and indefatigable activity, as he multiplied himself, 
taking every measure, keeping his eye on everything, 
is the best answer that can be made to those who 
have insinuated that on this memorable occasion he was 
afflicted with absolute mental and physical prostra- 
tion. * Never on the contrary did he display greater 
strength of mind nor exercise more genius than in 
these terrible moments. So also will he be found in 
the midst of the grave events of the campaigns of 
Saxony and of France. 

All justice must also be rendered to Marshal Ney 

* In the first of a series of magazine articles on the "Decline and 
Fall of Napoleon " General Lord Wolseley definitely makes this charge 
against Napoleon. — R. h. s. 

86 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

for his bravery and admirable firmness. This Marshal 
was the hero of the retreat. What devotion and 
presence of mind in the midst of danger, what 
familiarity with war and courage can produce of 
miracles, was realized by this intrepid warrior, who 
turn by turn was general and common soldier. How 
was it that the remembrance of his heroic conduct, 
of the thousand civic crowns and laurel-wreaths which 
adorned his brows, did not preserve him from the 
thunderbolt that struck him down? 

It was no longer possible to preserve even the 
shadow of discipline, and each man left to himself tried 
to reach Vilna as best he could. At last, having 
reached Molodetchno, the Emperor found there a great 
quantity of despatches which had been brought by 
estafettes who had not been able to reach him till 
then. These letters contained particulars of the Mallet 
attempt, the news of which he had first heard of on 
the evening before his arrival at Smolensk. Public 
security had not till then been troubled in Paris by 
the announcement of any disaster, but the distance 
by which the chief and the army were remote, the 
savagery of the Russians' means of defence and the 
burning of Moscow created a vague feeling of anxiety 
in France. Suddenly the foolhardy enterprise of 
Mallet broke out, the audacity of which stupefied Paris 
and the authorities. The desultory nature of the 
measures which were taken to oppose it show a state 
of uncertainty which might have proved fatal if the 
agents of the conspiracy had been on a better under- 
standing. The Empress was living 1 very quietly with 
her son at St. ('loud, when she was suddenly alarmed 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 87 

as to her son's safety and her own by the appearance 
of a detachment of guards sent on by the Minister of 
War, which galloped into the palace courtyard in 
great precipitation. She at once ran out in a dressing- 
gown, with her hair flying out behind, on to a balcony 
which overlooked the courtyard and it was there she 
received the first news of an attempt which she had 
little expected. Her consternation did not, however, 
last a long time. But what produced a profound 
impression in France and in Europe, was the audacity 
with which an obscure man, without money or credit, 
alone and without accomplices had escaped from prison 
to try a coup de main which had very nearly succeeded. 
Other reasons for amazement were the facility with 
which he had succeeded in persuading the troops that 
the Emperor was dead and that consequently the 
Empire was at an end, the passive submission of the 
municipal authorities to his behests, and finally the 
way in which the King of Rome and his mother had 
been forgotten. 

The project of profiting by Napoleon's absence, 
when engaged in some distant expedition, with a 
view of overthrowing the Empire, was a fixed idea 
which had long been growing in the head of Mallet, 
that monomaniac of conspiracy. In 1806, after the 
battle of Eylau, and in 1809, after the battle of 
Essling, Mallet counting on the serious embarrassments 
which would keep Napoleon away from France, had 
tried to make use of the same means for provoking 
an upheaval. The first indications accused him of 
participation in these revolutionary intrigues, but 
convicting documents being wanting for the definite 
establishment of his complicity, Mallet was not sent 

88 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

for trial; a decree ordered his detention only in one 
of the State prisons. In 1809 the police were informed 
that Mallet had organized a plan of insurrection in 
the Force prison, which was to break out on a Sunday, 
on the day fixed for the chanting of a Te Deum at 
Notre Dame in honour of the entry of the French 
troops into Vienna. The indulgence with which he 
was treated having encouraged him, Mallet thought 
that the misfortunes of the retreat from Moscow at 
last offered him an opportunity of realizing the design, 
the execution of which he was pursuing with such 
constant obstinacy. 

Seeing the necessity of his presence in Paris, the 
Emperor who had not wished to separate himself from the 
army as long as it was being menaced by imminent 
dangers, at last made up his mind to start for France. 
Dressed in a fur-lined pelisse, a present from the Emperor 
Alexander in happier days, and wearing an Astrachan 
cap on his head, Napoleon during the retreat had most 
often walked on foot, with a stick in his hand, taking 
the arm of the King of Naples or of one of his Mar- 
shals, in the midst of his troops, and escorted by the 
sacred — or cursed — battalion. He only very rarely got 
into his carriage or mounted on horseback. 

On December 5th, on the day of his arrival at 
Smorgoni, the Emperor assembled the leaders of his 
army, and informed them of his departure, provided 
for all things with detailed instructions and left the 
supreme command to his brother-in-law Murat with 
Prince de Neufchatel as his major-general. On Decem- 
ber 2nd he had sent Colonel Anatole de Montesquiou 
on to Paris charged with the mission of publishing 
good news all along the way, in towns as well as in 


simple villages, so as to reassure Poland, Germany and 
France, who must have been rendered anxious by the 
absence of all reports from the army. Napoleon sent 
the 29th bulletin on ahead of him, and in this bulletin 
he concealed none of our disasters.* He left on Decem- 
ber 5th with the Due de Vicence in a sledge, with 
no other escort than his mameluke Roustan and one 
groom. Count Wonsowich who was seated on the box 
of the sledge, acted as interpreter. Napoleon made 
his way to Warsaw where he found fresh reasons for' 
displeasure with Abbe Pradt and thence proceeded to 
Dresden, where were his ambassador Serra and the 
King of Saxony. He continued his way by Erfurth 
and Mayence, halting at Erfurth to send letters to his 
envoys at the courts of the princes of the Confede- 
ration of the Rhine, and orders to the generals in 
command of our military forces in Germany. He then 
proceeded from Mayence to Paris without stopping 
on the way. The Emperor arrived very late in the 
evening of December 18th at the Tuileries. The Empress 
who was sad and unwell had just gone to bed, for 
Napoleon had given her no notice of his approaching 
arrival. Frightened by the noises which she heard in the 
drawing-room which opened but of her bedroom, Marie 
Louise was rising to find out what was going on when 
she saw the Emperor enter, rush up to her and clasp 
her in his arms. The noise outside which had rather 
frightened the Empress was caused by a discussion 
between two men hooded and wrapped up in fur 

* This is incorrect. Compare with Meneval's statement what Thiers 
writes (Book XXVII. of his " History of the Consulate and the Empire"). 
" Before leaving he wrote the 29th bulletin, which afterwards became 
so famous, in which, speaking for the first time of the retreat, he avowed such 
-part of our disasters as could not absohitely be denied.'" &c, &c. — K. H. S. 


cloaks, with the lady-in-waiting who slept in the room 
adjoining the Empress's bedroom. This lady, as was 
her bounden duty, was defending the entrance to 
the bedroom, when one of these men throwing open 
his mantle disclosed the Emperor to her stupefied 

Xapoleon saw the soil of his country again, as great, 
greater perhaps, than when he had left it. More than 
once had his audacious and skilful manoeuvres, and 
the ascendancy of his genius saved the remains of 
the French army from a destruction which appeared 
inevitable. Adversity had found him strong and even 
immovable. Adversity had awakened in him that vigour 
of mind and those qualities which that hard school 
develops in chosen natures. Fortune, then, in betraying, 
had not diminished him, but she had weakened his 
prestige of invincibility. The army had lost none of 
its glorious reputation. It had displayed in these evil 
days an intrepidity, a constancy and warlike virtues 
which have amazed the world. It was only beaten 
by the elements, and if the bodies of the soldiers 
succumbed their hearts had never failed. The leaders 
of this valiant army had shown themselves worthy of 
it. Attacked by every kind of disaster, reduced to a 
handful of soldiers with barely enough strength to 
carry their arms, the army had still imposed respect 
on the enemy. No doubt that among so many brave 
soldiers there were numerous exceptions, as must 
necessarily be the case in any large agglomeration of 
men exposed to the direst calamities, for all characters 
are not tempered alike. But why make mention of 
such exceptions when the bulk showed such endurance 


and such courage? Those whose names might be 
mentioned as having been exceptions to the rule were 
for the most part men who had no need of the test of 
adversity to show their imperfections, their weaknesses, 
or their vices. 

The 29th bulletin which had preceded the Emperor 
to Paris, where it was delivered thirty-six hours before 
his arrival, had explained the long silence of the Great 
Army and had thrown a sad light on the disasters of 
the retreat. The minds of men were struck with these 
sinister pictures, and comparisons were instituted between 
the expedition of Cambyses to Egypt and the retreat 
from Moscow. Some thick-headed people applied to 
Napoleon a passage, sufficiently striking it is true, out 
of the " Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness 
and Decline of the Romans " — chapter XVII — where 
Montesquieu, after having spoken of the invasion of 
the barbarians into Europe, emboldened as they were 
by the enfeeblement of Charlemagne's empire, adds: 
" If a prince were to create such ravages in Europe 
to-day, the nations driven back in the North to the 
limits of the Universe would keep their stand there 
until the moment when they would inundate Europe 
for the third time." 

Victories dearly purchased and fruitless, unheard-ot 
disasters, the destruction of the finest army which 
France ever possessed, such were the results of this 
fatal expedition to Russia. How wide a field was 
thrown open to accusations, to complaints, and to the 
expressions of regret of even the best-disposed party 
in the nation and of our allies the Poles ! Many people 
have been pleased to describe Napoleon's confidences 
delivered at St. Helena, as ingenious and tempting 


fictions, intended to deceive his contemporaries and 
posterity. May I be allowed to oppose to these severe 
judgments, the following extract from Napoleon's 
Memoirs; it is a resume of his plans and of his conduct 
at this most important epoch in his reign, which, in 
my opinion, is as sincere as it is free from boasting? 

"The history of the Russian campaign will never be well 
known, because the Russians either do not write or write with no 
regard for truth, and because the French have been seized with 
a fine phrenzy for dishonouring and discrediting their own 
glory. — The war with Russia became the necessary conse- 
quence of the continental system on the day on which the 
Emperor Alexander violated the conventions of Tilsitt and 
of Erfurth, but a consideration of far greater import influenced 
Napoleon and decided him. The French Empire, which he 
had created with so many victories, would inevitably be dis- 
membered at his death, and the sceptre of Europe would pass 
into the hands of a Czar, did he not throw the Russians 
back on to the farther side of the Borysthenes, and re-establish 
the throne of Poland, the Empire's natural barrier. In 1812, 
Austria, Prussia, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy marched 
under the eagles of France. Was Napoleon not obliged to 
think that the moment had come for consolidating the 
immense edifice which he had erected, but on the summit 
of which Russia would weigh with all the weight of her 
power, as long as she was able at pleasure to march her 
numerous armies to the Oder. Alexander was young and 
full of strength like his empire; it was to be presumed that 
he would survive Napoleon. All the secret of the war is 
there. No personal feeling weighed in the matter as certain 
writers have alleged. The Russian campaign is the most 
glorious, the most difficult and the one fullest of honour for 
the Gauls of which either ancient or modern history makes 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 93 

" This war should have been one of the most popular of 
modern times; it was a war of common sense and of true 
interests; it was a war for the repose and security of all; it 
was Conservative, European, and Continental. Its success 
was to consecrate combinations which would have caused 
the dangers of the times to disappear, yielding a quiet future 
in their place, and ambition had no place in my views. 
Could one believe that it was there that I was to fail and 
to meet with ruin? Never had I acted better, never had I 
better deserved. But as if opinion also were subject to 
epidemics, lo ! in one moment, there was but one outcry, 
one feeling against me. I was proclaimed the tyrant of the 
kings, I, who had given them a fresh lease of life! I was 
no longer anything more than the destroyer of the rights of 
the nations, I, who had done all and was about to undertake 
all for them ! And the peoples and the kings, these irre- 
concilable enemies, allied themselves, concerted in conspiracy 
against me ! No account was taken of all the acts of my life. 
I knew very well that the opinion of the people would come 
back to my side with victory, but I failed to secure victory 
and found myself crushed. Such are men and such is my 
history. But the peoples and the kings, and perhaps both 
together, will regret me ; and my memory will be sufficiently 
avenged for the injustice which has been done to my 

After having described the great advantages of 
Russia's position with regard to Europe, Napoleon 
adds : — 

u One cannot refrain from shuddering at the thought of such 
a mass of men, which one can attack neither on the flank 
nor on the rear, pouring out with impunity upon you, flooding 
all if it triumph, — or retreating into the midst of its icy 
regions, into the bosom of devastation and death, which are 
its reserves, if defeated, ready to reappear again if needs be. 
Have we not here the hydra's head, the Antaeus of the fable, 


which cannot be vanquished except by seizing it body to 

body, and smothering it in one's arms ? But where 

to find the Hercules? It appertained to us alone to dare to 
assume that part .... 

" Was it, however, the efforts only of the Russians which 
annihilated me? No, it was a capital burned down in spite 
of the inhabitants, and by means of foreign intrigues ; it was 
a winter, a frost, whose sudden appearance and excessive 
rigour were phenomenal; it was the false manoeuvres, the 
countermarches of the Austrian corps, false reports, low 
intrigues, treachery, stupidity, and many other things, in one 
word, which will be known one day perhaps and which will 
be able to extenuate the one clumsy fault in diplomacy and 
in war which can be justly laid to my charge, namely, 
having undertaken such an enterprise in leaving on my flanks, 
which soon became my rear, two Cabinets of which I was 
not the master, and two allied armies which the slightest 
reverse would transform into enemies: and in conclusion on 
this point and indeed to cancel all that I have said by one 
word, this famous war, this audacious enterprise, were never 
desired by me; I had no wish to fight. Alexander had no 
wish to fight either, but once face to face, circumstances 
drove us one against the other and fatality did the rest." 

Napoleon was right in saying that he did not wish 
to make war on Russia in 1812 and that he did all 
he could to avoid it; his first need was to finish the 
war in Spain. The conferences, the explanations which 
the Emperor had with his ministers and with persons 
who were best acquainted with the Russian empire 
are sufficient proofs of his anxiety. When the 
indispensable necessity of taking steps was made 
clear to him, when his mind was firmly made up and 
he had assumed its entire responsibility, he considered 
it superfluous to enter upon any controversy on this 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 95 

point. When on the contrary he had reasons for 
hesitation, he would sound the opinions of competent 
persons either directly or indirectly; he would put 
forward paradoxical proposals in his conversations, and 
would provoke arguments destined either to enlighten 
him and confirm him in the resolution which in his 
eyes seemed the best, or to modify it or even to 
abandon its execution. He would then weigh the pros 
and cons in his heart of hearts and never took any 
serious resolutions without having thought them over 
for a long time and with the deepest attention. 

In the midst of his meditations I often heard Napoleon 
characterize his position with this expression to which 
he gave vent in the silence of his cabinet: " The bow 
is overstretched." Who had created this situation? 
Did it depend on him alone to slacken this bow? I 
am aware of all that might be said on this great 
question ; but I cannot discuss it here. It was opined 
that Napoleon's dictatorship had lasted too long a 
time .... does not the exclamation which I have 
referred to above prove that Napoleon, more than 
anybody else, understood the danger this situation 

The situation in which the gravity of circumstances 
placed France at that time did not diminish the 
Emperor's courage, but brought out all the vigour of 
his mind, giving new food to his energetic activity. 
His first care was to inform himself on what had 
happened in Paris at the time of Mallet's audacious 
conspiracy. Napoleon feared the misfortunes of every 
kind for which his death might give the signal. He 
blamed the hastiness of the judgment which had been 
pronounced on the authors of the conspiracy, and 


especially on those who had only been implicated in 
it; but feeling how imperatively necessary it was to 
recall the civil magistrates to a rigorous observance of 
their duties Napoleon pronounced, although with regret, 
the dismissal of the Prefect of the Seine, for yielding 
with too great ease to Mallet's declarations and 

The Emperor received the principal corporations of 
the State in solemn audience. The Senate, encouraged 
in the expression of a wish to which Napoleon had 
not answered in an explicit manner, spoke of the 
advisability of proceeding to the coronation of the 
King of Rome. Arrangements were even projected 
for the eventuality of a coronation of the Empress 
and of her son; but there were things of greater 
urgency to be performed, and for the time being the 
project in question was not carried into effect. 

The former King Louis of Holland, who was living 
in absolute retirement in Gratz, on hearing the news 
of the disasters which had befallen the French army 
in the Russian campaign, and the return of the 
Emperor to France, wrote to him to ask to be allowed 
to return to Holland. King Louis thought the moment 
a favourable one for re-establishing the French dynasty 
in the Low Country, and considered that Napoleon 
ought not to hesitate to replace him on the throne 
which was about to become a prey to the allied forces. 
Napoleon answered his brother's letter by asking him 
to come to Paris, where he said he would find, not 
an offended brother, but a father who had brought him 
up. He further declared to him that Holland had 
become French, and that Louis, having of his free 
will abdicated his crown could not think of taking it 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 97 

back again. The Ex-King of Holland made another 
fruitless application with the same object in view to 
the Congress at Prague, at a later period. He left 
the Austrian states at that time, and withdrew to 
Switzerland so as to be in a more favourable position 
for following the course of events. 

The Emperor's first care was the re-organization of 
the army, and he worked without respite to repair its 
losses. He met with a good-will and an ardour in 
the country which powerfully seconded his efforts in 
the accomplishment of this great task. Old and new 
France and Italy seemed to have renewed their strength 
in the terrible days of the calamities of the last cam- 
paign, just as after the battle of Cannae, the Roman 
senate went to meet Varrc to thank him for not 
having despaired of the safety of the republic. The 
city of Paris, all the provinces of the Empire made 
haste to sacrifices of all kinds, convinced as they were 
that Napoleon was more than ever necessary to France 
and that they had lost nothing since he remained to 
them, armed with all his energy. The speeches which 
were addressed to him, the letters which were written 
to him, the addresses which were presented to him 
were proofs of the sincere and spontaneous expression 
of the feelings of the country. The artillery, both in 
men and material, as well as all other military 
branches were re-organized and completed, and very 
soon, in one word, the French army was once more 
in a position to present itself afresh on the field of 
battle, as numerous as it was before its disaster. Three 
months had sufficed to obtain these prodigious results. 
The young soldiers who for the most part had been 
employed to reinforce the army, were as brave and as 


98 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

formidable in the face of the enemy as our veterans, 
after a day's fighting. Unfortunately they were not 
inured to fatigue like the latter, nor as accustomed 
to forced marches as were their seniors : it will be 
remembered that Napoleon used to say that it was 
chiefly with his soldiers' legs that he waged war. 

Wishing to attach to the fate of the Empire the young 
gentlemen belonging to old families, whom laziness 
and discontent had cast into the ranks of the adver- 
saries of the Imperial regime, Napoleon created regiments 
of guards of honour in which the privates had the pros- 
pect of becoming officers with one year's service. His 
object was to avoid leaving behind him any elements 
of disturbance, and at the same time to increase his 
cavalry. The creation of the regiments of the guards 
of honour was as successful as had been desired by 
the Emperor, and this new corps supplied the army 
with 10,000 excellent horsemen whose education was 
either complete, or easily to be completed. The esprit 
de corps and the natural taste of the French for the 
profession of arms very soon aroused in these young 
gentlemen the love of the Fatherland and of the flag. 
At the beginning, however, a spirit of resistance and 
insubordination natural enough manifested itself amongst 
these forced recruits, especially in the first regiment, 
which was assembled at Tours, under the command 
of General Philip de Segur. There had been formed in 
this regiment, which was made up of young gentle- 
men from Brittany and Vendee, a kind of association, 
the object of which was to kidnap the Emperor. 
To obtain this result the association counted on the 
hazards which might arise to approach the regiment 
to the sovereign's person. Louis de la Rochejaquelein, 


with this purpose in view, had placed himself in 
communication with the principal members of the 
association, notably with a certain Charette, who was 
a relation of the Vendeen general of that name. The 
police, informed of this intrigue, arrested and transported 
to Paris some of the ringleaders. The regiment was 
excited by their long absence, and a deputation came 
to ask the Colonel what had been done with their 
comrades, and imperiously demanded that they should 
be set free. On the firm refusal of the Colonel one 
of the guards of honour, whose name was Des Netu- 
mieres, shot at him point-blank with a pistol, which 
merely grazed his face, the bullet entering the collar 
of his coat without wounding him. This outbreak 
had no other consequences. The authorities satisfied 
themselves with the arrest of Netumieres and some other 
young fellows who were implicated in the matter, and 
imprisoned them at Sainte Pelagie. They were treated 
with indulgence, the Restoration found them in prison 
in 18 14, and set them at liberty. 

The Emperor had received the most disastrous 
news from the army in Russia. After his departure 
from Smorgoni the army had continued its march to 
Vilna under the command of the King of Naples. 
The absence of Napoleon, whose presence inspired all 
with courage, left it exposed to new disasters. The 
intensity of the cold, which increased to thirty degrees 
below zero, completed their disorganization and the 
road from Smorgoni to Vilna was strewn with corpses. 
With Napoleon's forethought they collected at Vilna 
immense stores of every kind, besides provisions 
which had been brought from Koenigsberg, and towns 
in Lithuania; but it was impossible to distribute these 


provisions with any order. Famished gangs of men 
rushed on the store-houses and pillaged them, so that 
all these immense resources, which would have revic- 
tualled and provisioned an army of 300,000 men, were 
wasted and lost. Vilna was in the midst of horrible 
confusion. At a league from this city a hill which was 
one mere ice-block opposed an insurmountable obstacle 
to the horses and carriages, and these had to be 
abandoned at the foot of the hill. The army treasure 
was distributed amongst the soldiers, who faithfully 
brought back the sums which had been entrusted to 
them. At last the remnants of this noble and heroic 
army arrived at Kowno, after six weeks of disasters 
and misfortunes without a parallel. They recrossed the 
Niemen which six months earlier a splendid, large, 
and brilliant army had crossed. Reduced to one 
quarter of its numbers, this army retreated, after having 
suffered all kinds of misfortunes; but although vanquished 
by the atrocious severity of the elements, the sentiments 
of honour and of loyalty had remained unshaken. 
Marshal Ney, the hero of this retreat, at the head of 
a handful of men of the rearguard, carrying a rifle like 
a private* forced himself over the bridge of Kowno and 
was the last to leave this inhospitable land. 

It is a poor consolation to think that this campaign 
had been no less disastrous to the Russians than to 
us. Their army had been decimated during our retreat 
by disasters and the rigours of the weather, from 
which the Russian troops had suffered as much as 
the French army. According to Sir Robert Wilson, 
English commissioner with the Russian army, more 

* M6neval writes " a la tctc." Yet Ney, as Mencval states, was the. 
last to leave. — R. H. s. 


than 200,000 regulars perished there. The second 
capital of the Russian Empire had been totally con- 
sumed together with immense riches, and many provinces 
had been devastated by the Russians themselves, to 
make a desert around us. Whilst so many sad events 
were taking place, a Prussian auxiliary force, commanded 
by General York, separated itself from Macdonald's 
army corps and treated with the enemy. Disavowed 
at first by the King of Prussia, York was recompensed 
two months later by the same Prince, on signing a 
treaty of alliance with Russia at Breslau. Prince 
Schwarzenberg, who commanded the Austrian corps, 
after having left an open field to the Russian troops 
who came to cut off our way across the Beresina, 
evacuated the Russian territory and returned to Galicia 
in virtue of a convention which he had signed with 
the Emperor Alexander's generals*. 

The Moniteur of June 27th, 1813, reported the King 
of Naples' departure to his states in the following 
terms: "The King of Naples, being unwell, has left 
the command of the army which he has handed over 
to the viceroy. This latter is more accustomed to great 
administrations: he enjoys the Emperor's confidence." 

Matters were no better in Spain. King Joseph had 
made proposals to the Cortes assembled in the town of 
Leon, where deputies w^ere occupied in laying down the 
basis of their constitution. The successes of the French 
army in Aragon and Catalonia had given some weight 
to the proposal made by the King to recognize the 

* It must not be forgotten it was Napoleon who had solicited and 
obtained, from the Emperor of Austria, the rank of Field-Marshal in 
favour of Prince Schwarzenberg. 


fundamental clauses of this constitution. But in the 
meanwhile the loss of the battle of Salamanca, which 
had been fought by Marshal Marmont without awaiting 
the re-enforcements which the King was bringing to 
him, and the occupation of Madrid by the English 
General, which was the result of this serious reverse, 
once more modified the more conciliatory disposition 
of the Spaniards. The evacuation of Galicia and 
Andalusia, to which Marshal Soult resigned himself 
after repeated orders, brought him back to Madrid, 
which the English General made haste to leave to 
avoid being surrounded. After having besieged Burgos, 
which was valiantly defended by General Dubreton 
for thirty-five days, w-ithout any result, the English 
army withdrew to Salamanca pursued by the army 
from Portugal, which inflicted serious losses upon it. 
The re-union of the French armies on the Tormes, the 
command of which the King handed over to Marshal 
Soult, gave him the hope of avenging the defeat of 
Salamanca, but floods of rain, which rendered the roads 
impassable, delayed the movements of our troops and 
gave the English General time to decamp. The King 
had entered Madrid, where he hoped to be able to 
maintain himself. In spite of the numerous detachments 
which Napoleon had withdrawn from the French armies 
in Spain, these armies still numbered ninety thousand 
men in the centre and west of the Peninsula, and 
forty thousand men in Aragon and Catalonia with 
Marshal Suchet at their head. 

One of the Emperor's first cares was to endeavour 
to put an end to his dispute with the Pontifical Court. 
On January 19th, 1813, he escorted the Empress to 
Grosbois, where Prince de Wagram gave a grand hunt 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 103 

in Their Majesties' honour. But instead of returning to 
Paris, Napoleon went to pass the night at Fontainebleau, 
where he was not expected: the Empress joined him 
there on the morrow. Several Italian and French 
cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, assembled around 
the Pope in this residence, were busy in negoti- 
ating the arrangements which should put an end 
to the disputes which had taken place for several years 
between the Holy See and the Tuileries Court. Napo- 
leon, growing impatient at the slowness of these nego- 
tiations, and relying on the influence which he knew 
himself to possess over Pius VII., wished to take advan- 
tage of this to deal directly with the Holy Father 
without any intermediary. In consequence the Emperor 
had several private conferences with his Holiness, 
the result of which was that a new concordat was 
signed in the Empress's apartments in the presence 
of their councillors and of the court. The Empress 
Marie Louise had taken a great part in bringing 
this reconciliation about. She had been to call 
upon the sovereign pontiff at the time of his arrival 
at Fontainebleau; she returned there of her own accord 
after the signing of this concordat, to offer the Holy 
Father her congratulations. The Pope, who was a 
very apostle, full of sweetness and charity, loved Napo- 
leon in spite of all ; and Napoleon on his side had for 
him esteem and even affection. It is almost certain 
that they would have come to an understanding if 
the Pope's Roman councillors had not unceasingly 
held up before his eyes to check him the menace of 
the anathema with which he would be struck in case 
he were to abandon the rights of the church, or sacri- 
fice the smallest fragment thereof. The Fontainebleau 


Concordat was destined to dry up at their very fountain- 
head all these religious quarrels. It provided for the 
solution of all the most important questions. First, the 
establishment of the Pope at Avignon, which was to 
become the See of Christendom ; secondly the fixing of a 
delay of six months in which the briefs of canonical 
investiture were to be delivered to the Bishops by the 
Metropolitan in case these had not received, during the 
period stated, the bull of investiture from the Pontifical 
Court. The concordat of 1 80 1 had passed this matter 
over in silence, and the Pontifical Court had taken 
advantage of these circumstances, on more than one 
occasion, to leave churches in France, Italy, and Ger- 
many unprovided with priests. No sooner had the Pope 
been left alone than he once more fell under the 
influence of his former counsellors, who had been 
recalled from exile by Napoleon, and who were in 
the pay of the enemies of France and initiated in their 
secret designs. They worked upon the conscience of 
the gentle and venerable Pontiff to bring him to refuse 
the concessions which he had freely made in a spirit 
of concord and pacification. The Pope, obedient to 
their suggestions, addressed the Emperor two months 
after the signing of the new concordat, a letter, in 
which he explained his scruples and the reasons which 
induced him not to carry the conditions of this covenant 
into effect. The Emperor s only answer was a decree 
in which he commanded the archbishops, bishops, and 
chapters to see that these conditions were rigorously 
carried out. 

Affairs in Germany, and especially the precarious 
State of our alliance with Austria, demanded Napoleon's 
serious attention. Austria professed the friendliest feel- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 105 

ings and was not chary of protestations, but the always 
equivocal conduct of the Vienna Cabinet kept alive the 
Emperor's distrust which was certainly thoroughly 
justified. Every report he received from Vienna in- 
formed him that in political circles the dissolution of 
the Confederation of the Rhine and of the Grand-duchy 
of Warsaw was being talked of. These pretensions, 
it is true, were attributed to the allied forces, but the 
language in which these rumours were hawked about 
revealed a desire to see these things realized. To 
enlighten doubts which were still existent in his 
mind Napoleon thought it better to replace M. Otto, 
our ambassador in Vienna, by Count de Narbonne, 
his aide-de-camp, whose old-standing relations with 
the Viennese aristocracy, during the exile, might 
render him better able to sound the private intentions 
of the Vienna Cabinet. The new ambassador was not 
long in obtaining the revelation of the intention of this 
Cabinet to propose an armed mediation, thanks to which 
it should become the arbitrator of peace. The new 
role which Austria was trying to assume changed our 
situation, for it was evident that France was about to 
lose the best guarantee she possessed against Austria's 
bad faith. In declaring herself mediator, the contingent 
supplied to our army by this power would be no longer 
forthcoming; and from that time forward the alliance 
would rest on the most fragile foundations imaginable, 
and on assurances of friendship of which the Vienna 
Cabinet was never chary, but whose sincerity Napoleon 
had reasons to mistrust. 

Whilst awaiting the turn which these events were 
about to take Napoleon devoted himself to details of 

106 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

home government. "Without neglecting the achievement 
of works which had already been begun, he reduced 
the sums of money allotted to each. He paid visits 
to the public establishments and showed himself in the 
faubourgs, where his simple and homely manners 
aroused the enthusiasm of the people. These walks 
in Paris were constantly inspiring the Emperor with 
ideas for improvements, embellishments and useful 
reforms. He notably gave orders for municipal works 
for the distribution of water in the various quarters of 
the town, and the increase in the number of fountains ; 
for the achievement or construction of market-houses, 
slaughter-houses, sewers, bridges; for the erection of 
large buildings intended to receive the archives of the 
Empire, the University and its dependencies, a school 
of Fine Arts, with studios and exhibition rooms; and 
finally for the establishment of four large cemeteries 
at the four cardinal points of Paris. This useful 
employment of the few moments which the constant 
anxiety of war left free to Napoleon is an example of 
tre advantages of every kind which the departments 
would have derived from the journeys which he proposed 
to make, as soon as lasting peace should give him 
leisure to do so. 

Napoleon also went with the Empress to the Inval- 
ides, reviewed the old soldiers there, inquired as to 
their wants, tasted the food provided for them, and 
made the Empress do the same. The sovereigns 
walked through the gallery in which were exhibited 
the raised plans of the fortified towns and harbours. 
The Emperor remarked amongst others the plan of the 
harbour of Brest, which had just been finished and 
which he praised highly. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 107 

In the beginning of this year, 18 13, the Emperor 
had opened the session of the Legislative body in 
person, with a speech in which he had spoken of his 
losses, of his hopes, and of his desire for peace, w T ith 
the greatest frankness. This speech had been followed 
by a speech by the Minister of the Interior, in which 
he read out a statement of the situation of the Empire 
during the two preceding years. 

Napoleon had also busied himself in constituting the 
Regency, the exercise of which he had decided to 
confide to the Empress. It had been proposed to him 
to give a special household to this princess, at the head 
of which a " siirintendant" should be placed. "How- 
ever much the Emperor objected to the creation of 
any fresh charges at court, this proposal had seemed 
to find favour in his eyes. He had then cast his 
glance on M. de Narbonne, whose distinguished 
intelligence and courteous manners had always pleased 
him, as a fit man to fill this post. But he soon abandoned 
this project and took this officer as his aide-de-camp, 
until the time when he sent him to Vienna. M. de 
Narbonne justified the favour shown him by Napoleon, 
and served him with constant fidelity until his death, 
which occurred at Torgau, where he had been appointed 
governor of the town, in 18 13. 

The liking attributed to Napoleon for the represen- 
tatives of the ancient nobility was part of his system 
of fusion and proceeded from the resolution he had 
taken to render himself at one with all that was 
distinguished in France. This consideration outweighed 
what attraction he may have felt for those polished 
manners, those definite flatteries, that fine and often 
ornate wit, those traditions of good taste and of 

io8 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

urbanity, which, especially formerly, distinguished the 
pick of the nobility at court. The ensemble of these 
reasons had prompted Napoleon from the moment of 
his accession to power to make advances to the 
representatives of these families, making use of M. de 
Talleyrand in this work of amalgamation and recon- 
ciliation which he had undertaken. It was thus that 
he had placed the Dukes of Choiseul-Praslin and de 
Luynes in the Senate at the time of its formation. 

Various persons had been proposed to fill the post 
of secretary to the commands of the Empress-Regent, 
amongst others M. Ferrand, a former councillor to the 
Parliament of Paris, the same gentleman who became 
Louis XVIII.'s minister under the first Restoration and 
who intrepidly assumed the responsibility of laws best 
calculated to exasperate public opinion ; then M. Duchesne 
de Gillevoisin, another parliamentarian. These selec- 
tions not having been approved of, the post of secre- 
tary to the commands of the Empress-Regent remained 
vacant. When the Emperor decided to constitute the 
Empress's Regency I was seriously ill, for I had 
returned exhausted with the fatigues of the retreat 
from Moscow. Napoleon, whom I was consequently 
unable to attend, ordered Duroc, the Grand Marshal 
of the palace to write to me, that the need I had of 
repose, and his wish not to remove me from his 
person, had prompted him to register me as "in 
convalescence, " to use his expression, near the Empress's 
person, and that in consequence he had appointed me 
secretary of the commands of this princess. Some days 
later he conferred tin- tit1<> and powers of Regent on 
the Empress by letters patent, and she took the oath 
in this capacity in a cabinet council which was convened 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 109 

for the purpose at the Elysee. King Joseph was 
acknowledged lieutenant-general of the Emperor, and 
the Prince Archchancellor first councillor to the 
Regency, and charged with giving his visa to all 
documents emanating therefrom. A Minister of State, 
the Due de Cadore, was appointed secretary to the 
Regency and filled the post of secretary of state 
during Count Daru's absence, when the latter accom- 
panied the Emperor beyond our frontiers. At the 
same time Marshal Due de Conegliano was designed 
to fill the functions of colonel-general of the guard 
and General Caffarelli, the Emperor's aide-de-camp, was 
charged with the command of the detachments of the 
said guard which remained in Paris. 

In my new capacity as secretary to the commands 
of the Empress, I received through the agency of 
Count Daru, Minister Secretary of State, the Emperor's 
instructions with a copy of the letters patent which 
bestowed the title of Regent on the Empress Marie 
Louise, a copy of the senatus consultum constituting the 
Regency, and of the senatus consultum fixing the 
Empress's jointure. 

This is Count Daru's letter: — 

"Monsieur le Baron.— The Emperor having appointed you 
secretary of the commands to the Empress-Regent has 
commanded me to communicate to you the documents 
of interest to H.M. which it is necessary for you, for 
this reason, to be acquainted with. In consequence I have 
the honour to send you herewith copies of the organic 
senatus consultum on the Regency, and ot the senatus 
consultum which fixes the Empress's jointure. 

" It is right that you should hold these documents at the 
Empress's disposal and that you be able to lay them before 


H.M. whenever She desires to see them. The Emperor 
also wishes you to prepare the protocol of the Empress's 
cabinet and that you should present it to the Minister of 
Exterior Relations who will submit it to H.M. The original 
of this protocol will remain in your hands. It is also neces- 
sary that you should withdraw all letters and communications 
which may have been addressed to the Empress from the 
Ministry of Exterior Relations, and that in future you should 
write the answers to such communications. 

" It is essential, M. le Baron, that you should procure everything 
concerning the statutes of the imperial family and the con- 
stitutional acts of the State, to place them at the disposal of 
H.M. the Empress whenever She may need to see them. 

"Such, Monsieur le Baron, are the Emperor's desires, which 
H.M. has charged me to acquaint you with. 

" I have the honour to offer you the assurance of my high 

"(Signed): Daru." 

When I was appointed secretary of the commands of 
the Regent, and as this appointment was only a tem- 
porary one, I did not draw the salary attached to this 
post. The Emperor provided the funds for this salary 
with an allotment of four thousand francs a month and 
furnished a very fine house at St. Cloud, for my use, 
requesting me to live there with my family, whenever 
the Empress should be in residence in the palace 
there. At the same time he gave my wife and myself 
our daily entrees to the Empress's evening drawing- 
rooms. And lastly he ordered me to write to him 
every day, which I never failed to do and without a 
single interruption. 

I took possession of my functions in the Empress's 
service some days before she was declared Regent. 
I had had frequent opportunities of appreciating the 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. Ill 

gentleness and the kindness of this princess ; my frequent 
relations with her taught me to know these winning 
qualities still better. She took pains to render the 
exercise of my functions as easy and as pleasant as 
possible, so that they were a real sinecure. The order 
established in the despatch of affairs was so well 
arranged that the intervention of the Regent was hardly 
noticed. She was in reserve for extraordinary circum- 
stances, which fortunately did not occur (the death 
of the Emperor for example). My chief employment 
was my correspondence with the Emperor when he 
was away, and my work at the Council of State where 
I was on ordinary duty. 

After having provided for all matters which claimed 
his foresight, matters which we have just enumerated 
in part, Napoleon at once prepared himself to join his 
army. Almost on the eve of his departure Prince 
Schwarzenberg, announced long previously as a bearer 
of good news, at last arrived in Paris. The Emperor 
contented himself with putting him into communication 
with the Due de Bassano, so anxious was he to find 
himself on the scene of the military operations. The 
Russians had crossed the Elbe and were occupying 
Dresden, which the King of Saxony had left in going 
to Prague. Prussia had concluded a treaty of alliance 
with Russia, at Kalitch, on February 27th. The 
Emperor left St. Cloud for Mayence on April 15 th, at 
four o'clock in the morning. 

In the morning of the same day I received the 
following note from the Empress: — 


" You are sure to know that the Emperor has gone. I 
like to think that you also are a good deal grieved at this. 
I beg you, if M. Fain has not yet left, to tell him that I 
want him very much to give me news of the Emperor. I 
did not find time to tell him so myself. I beg you also to 
send me the list of entrees, the Emperor wishing them to 
be sent to me in the course of the day. I beg you to 
believe in the assurance of the sentiments with which I am 
your much attached 

" Louise." 

"Saint-Cloud, April 15th, 1813." 

The first essay in her new role which the Empress 
made was a reception of the diplomatic corps, which 
took place on the following Sunday. She sustained 
the character of Empress-Regent with nobility and 

The first success of the campaign of 181 3, gained 
six days after the Emperor's arrival at the army, a 
success which was violently contested, was the battle 
of Lutzen, which opened the gates of Dresden to the 
French army. The King of Saxony made haste, 
immediately afterwards, to return to his capital. 

In the meanwhile conferences were taking place in 
Paris between Prince Schwarzenberg and the Due de 
Bassano. They were limited on the part of the 
Austrian envoy to an abundance of friendly protestations 
which lost in value on account of the manner in which 
they were lavished. In one of these conferences, 
however, the prince let slip a very significant statement. 
Apropos of obligations which seemed to be a natural 
consequence of a family alliance, Prince Schwarzenberg 
said: " Politics made the marriage, politics can unmake 
it." Although M. de Bassano did not acquaint the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 113 

Emperor with this remark, the reserve of the Austrian 
ambassador who formulated no declaration aroused the 
suspicion that he had a mental reservation and that he 
was trying to gain time. In the end however came 
the proposal of an armed mediation, accompanied by 
a renewal of friendly protestations, and the assurance 
that if Austria presented herself under arms it was in 
order to force the allies to make peace. Napoleon then 
decided to send Prince Eugene off to Italy, where he 
considered his presence would be more useful, in case 
of a rupture. At the same time he recalled Marshal 
Soult, whom he wished to employ in the Great Army, 
from Spain. 

Whilst the Emperor was in Dresden, the Austrian 
general, Bubna was sent to him. It was always the 
same language that was held, but after a great deal 
of reticence it was hinted that Austria's fidelity to the 
French alliance merited as a compensation, on the 
part of France, a renunciation of the protectorate of 
the Confederation of the Rhine, the dislocation of the 
Grand-duchy of Warsaw, and the restitution of Illyria 
to Austria, the said restitution not being the subject of 
any contestation. M. de Bubna at the same time 
proposed that a general congress should be opened, 
declaring " that Russia and Prussia admit Austria's 
mediation, but that he cannot explain what will be 
the nature of this mediation." 

Napoleon losing all trust in the friendly dispositions 
affected towards him by Austria, but still dissembling, 
decided to send the Due de Vicence to Russian head- 
quarters to come to an understanding with the Czar 

on the basis of general pacification, preferring to deal 

114 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

with an open enemy rather than with a perfidious ally. 
The Emperor Alexander who was already engaged to 
Austria refused to receive the Due de Vicence. 

In the meanwhile the victories of Bautzen and 
Wurtschen determined the allies to propose an 
armistice during which, they added, the mediating 
power would expose the basis of peace, the armed 
mediation having accordingly been denounced as 
disposed of. Napoleon once more agreed to this 
armistice, and had reason to regret doing so there- 
after. But he hoped, to make use of his expression, 
" to get a better insight of the pieces on his chess- 
board", to find means, thanks to this truce, of approaching 
the Emperor Alexander and of making Austria pay 
the price of her bad faith. 

Whilst I was fulfilling my functions in the Empress's 
service as secretary of her commands, this princess 
received one day the following letter from the Emperor : 

"Madame and Dear Friend,— I send you an open letter 
for the Due d'Otrante; you will send for the duke and you 
will hand him this letter yourself. If he needs a passport 
you will order one to be given to him, my desire being that 
this mission should remain secret. You may however speak 
of it to the Archchancellor, my desire being that nothing 
be ever kept secret from him. But you will arrange that, 
whilst the Archchancellor is with you, the Due d'Otrante 
have been already sent for and be present. 

" (Signed) : Napoleon." 

"Dresden, May nth, 1813." 

In conformity with the request contained in this 
letter which was handed to him, Fouche left for 
Dresden. Napoleon thought it prudent not to leave 

this individual in Paris under the grave circumstances 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 115 

in which France and the Empire were placed. The 
object of this letter was to remove Fouche from Paris 
and to send him to Illyria to replace General Bertrand, 
whose presence was more useful with the army. 

By a letter on the same day the Emperor commis- 
sioned the Empress to send the Due de Bassano to 
Dresden also, but these two letters had been written 
with very different purposes. 

Since I have begun quoting letters written from 
Napoleon to Marie Louise, I will copy two more, the 
first of which will show both the Empress's ingenuousness 
and the Emperor's extreme delicacy in all matters 
concerning the proprieties, and to what a pitch he 
carried his scruples in these matters: 

" Madame and Dear Friend, — I have received the letter 
in which you inform me that you received the Archchan- 
cellor whilst you were in bed. My pleasure is that, under no 
circumstances whatsoever, and on no pretext, you receive 
anybody whilst you are in bed, no matter who he may be. 
That is only permissible after thirty years of age. 

" (Signed) : Napoleon." 

"At Haynau, June 7th, 18 13." 

Another letter from the Emperor: 

"Madame and Dear Friend,— I receive your letter of 
May 30th. I think that it is useless for you to go to Notre 
Dame for the Te Dewn for the battle of Wurtschen. It 
will be sufficient for you to go the Tuileries, and that the 
Te Deum be chanted with pomp in the chapel there at the 
ordinary hour of the court, and that you hold a grand draw- 
ing-room in the evening. I am writing this in the suppo- 
sition that it has not been officially announced that you will 
go to Notre Dame, for, of course, if the programme has 

I 1 6 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

appeared, it must not be countermanded, and there would 
be more inconvenience in not going than in going. 

"(Signed): Napoleon." 
" Liegnitz, June gth, 1813." 

In another of his letters to Marie Louise, Napoleon 
reverts to the same subject: he tells the Empress 
that she did well to go to the Te Deu?n which was 
chanted for the battle of Lutzen, but that such cere- 
monies should not be too frequent, and that it is 
because they are rare that they are imposing. " As a 
general rule," he adds, "it is suitable that the Te Deum 
should be chanted on the Sunday following: it is a 
mistake to delay it. I do not see why Pentecost 
should prevent the singing of a Te Deum. . When an 
event has passed by, other events happen, and that 
may give rise to all sorts of inconveniences. Have a 
grand theatrical performance and a large Court at 
St. Cloud on that day." 

These letters arrived at the time when the programme 
of the ceremony was published in the Moniteur\ the 
Empress accordingly proceeded with great pomp to 
Notre Dame, to conform with the orders which she 
had received. 

In the course of these glorious commencements of 
the 18 1 3 campaign the Emperor and the army had 
experienced two notable losses. In a reconnoitring, 
expedition, effected on the eve of the battle of Lutzen 
the Due d'Istrie — Bessieres — was struck by a bulletin 
the head ;md killed. Colonel of Napoleon's guides in 
the army of Italy, and afterwards commander of the 
imperial guard, Bessieres had followed the Emperor 


in all his campaigns. His bravery, his great experience 
in the cavalry branch, as much as his devotion to 
Napoleon's person, had raised him to the rank of Marshal. 
The grief occasioned to the Emperor by Marshal 
Bessieres's death was raised to the highest pitch by 
the death of the Due de Frioul — Duroc — who, less 
fortunate than the former, survived for twelve hours 
a terrible wound which he received on the evening 
of the battle of Wurtschen. The enemy's last cannon- 
ball sought him out far from the firing, in the midst 
of a group where he was conversing with General 
Kirgener and Marshal Mortier. This ball opened the 
Grand Marshal's stomach, killed General Kirgener, and 
only grazed the Duke of Trevise. Napoleon was present 
at Duroc's last moments. He went to see him after 
the sentries had been placed, at the house to which 
he had been transported, and found him fully conscious. 
This interview was a most poignant one. Napoleon 
exchanged some words with the most regretted of 
his officers, in which Duroc expressed sentiments of the 
purest devotion and the Emperor his bitter regrets and 
the hope that they might meet again in another world. 
Napoleon, a prey to the most terrible emotion, remained 
more than a quarter of an hour grasping Duroc's right 
hand with his head resting upon it. The deep silence 
which reigned during this painful scene was broken 
by Duroc, who begged the Emperor to go away from 
so sad a sight. And Napoleon, unable to speak, could 
say nothing to him but: "Farewell, then, my friend." 
He thereupon withdrew, leaning on Marshal Soult 
and the Grand Equerry, and went to shut himself up 
in his tent where he spent the night alone weeping 
for his friend and reflecting on the painful warnings 

Il8 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

which the genius which presided over his destinies 
seemed to be giving him. 

After his return from Mayence, where he went to spend 
some days with the Empress, Napoleon halted in the 
course of one of his marches before the house in the 
village where the Grand Marshal had died. He sent 
for the pastor and commissioned him to have a small 
monument raised in the interior of this modest abode, 
in remembrance of the loss which he had experienced 
there. Napoleon wished the tenant of the house to 
become - its owner, with the charge of preserving the 
monument in it, and ordered the amount of the purchase 
money as well as the sum of the mausoleum to be paid 
over at once. * 

One might have said that Napoleon who had been 
so long favoured by fortune brought evil fortune to 
all his people ; on the morrow of Duroc's death, Colonel 
Bernard, one of the Emperor's aides-de-camp, broke his 
leg whilst escorting Napoleon's carriage. 

After the conclusion of an armistice, signed by the 
French, Russian, and Prussian commissioners, M. de 
Mettcrnich arrived in Dresden. On the 28th of June 
he had that famous interview with Napoleon in which, 
casting off the mask, he demanded, as the price of 
Austria's fidelity to the French alliance, the cession 
of lllyria, and half of Italy, the renunciation of the 
Protectorate of the Confederation of the Rhine, the 
abandonment <>f Holland and of Spain, of the Swiss 
mediation and that of the I hichy of Warsaw. The answer 
which the Emperor made, in an outburst of just indigna- 

* Duroc was killed, as a matter of (act, near Reichenbach, in Obcr- 
lausitz — May 22nd, 1813 — k. 11. s. 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. Iig 

tion which he could not control in face of so arrogant an 
expression of wishes, is well known : " Ah ! Metternich. 
How much has England paid you to make me such 
proposals?"* The explanation of this language was 
indeed soon arrived at by the news of the convention, 
which M. de Stadion, the Austrian minister, had signed 
on June 27th, the day before Metternich's audience with 
Napoleon — a covenant by virtue of which the allies 
accepted the offer of the mediation of the cabinet of 
Vienna, and settled the conditions which should be 
imposed on France. These conditions were still more 
implicitly determined by the treaty of Trachemberg, 
dated the 9th July following, which laid down the plan 
of the military operations of the campaign, and the 
distribution of the subsidies supplied by England to 
the coalition. Austria and Sweden were the contracting 
parties in this treaty, and united their contingents to 
the Russian and Prussian forces. 

After the preceding explanations it would be of 
little interest to investigate at what period the Austrian 
Cabinet commenced negotiations with the allied Cabi- 
nets. Various indications would suggest that this 
took place as far back as the time when Prince 
Schwarzenberg was sent to Paris bearing professions 
of friendship and fidelity to the French alliance. It 
was, as the reader has seen, just at the time of Napo- 
leon's departure for the army. Bad faith could not 
be carried any further! 

Whilst awaiting the opening of the congress which 
was to be held at Prague, and the end of the nego- 

*"Upon my oath," said Metternich to General Berthier, on leaving 
the palace, after this famous interview, "your master has gone out of 
his mind." — R. H. S. 


tiations with the object of prolonging a truce, Napoleon, 
who could no longer have any doubt about the under- 
standing come to by Austria and the alliance, left for 
Mayence. He wanted to spend some days there to 
give orders for various arrangements which he con- 
sidered necessary for the truest interests of the Empire, 
in case of a resumption of hostilities. 

He had asked the Empress to come and meet him 
there, in a letter in which he mentioned the names of 
the persons who were to accompany her. I was 
mentioned by name. At the same time as he wrote 
to the Empress he addressed a letter to the Arch- 
chancellor on the same subject. He even took the 
precaution to send an article which was to be published 
in the Moniteur to announce this journey. 

The Empress left St. Cloud on July 23 rd, at six o'clock in 
the morning. She slept at Chalons and Metz, received 
the principal authorities there, and arrived at Mayence 
on the 25th at three o'clock in the morning, in very 
bad weather. She was afraid that the Emperor might 
have got there before her, but he only arrived at six 
o'clock in the evening of the same day. Napoleon was 
in good health, his complexion was heightened and 
bronzed by the air of the camps. It was with real 
pleasure that I saw the Emperor again, and he received 
me very kindly. I once more attended him as secre- 
tary until the arrival of his cabinet, and was entrusted 
with numerous commissions by him. It pleased me to mid 
myself once more living in this familiar and confidential 
manner with him, and I witnessed Napoleon's departure 
with s< >rr< iw. My heart was oppressed as I took leave of 
him, for I was worried with Austria's suspicious conduct, 
and the doubtful issue of the congress of Prague. 


During his stay in Mayence the Emperor lived in 
a very retired manner, very busy in his cabinet with 
military and diplomatic correspondence, working with 
his ministers in turn, but especially with the Minister 
of Finance, on matters of inner administration, and 
also in view of the uncertain duration of the struggle 
which was about to begin. The princes adjoining the 
Confederation of the Rhine, amongst others the Grand- 
duke and Grand-duchess of Baden, the Prince Primate, 
the Prince of Nassau, the Grand-duke of Hesse-Darm- 
stadt, took advantage of the Emperor's stay at 
Mayence to come and pay him court. The beauty of 
the weather which had become quite serene again 
enabled the Empress to drive out every day in an open 
carriage; her court had been increased by the arrival 
of the Princess de Wagram who had come with her 
children to Mayence to see her husband. The Countess 
de Lobau was impatiently expected there by her hus- 
band, who was very much upset by the delay in her 
arrival. When she at last arrived it was on the day 
before that fixed for Napoleon's departure. During 
his stay at Mayence the Empress, who wished to give 
the Emperor a present on his name-day, which was 
approaching, commissioned Isabey, who was taking the 
waters at Vichy, to paint the portrait of herself and 
her son in a group on a snuff-box. 

Napoleon left Mayence on August ist at six in the 
evening to return to Dresden, and arrived there at nine 
o'clock in the morning of the 4th. It was from this city 
that was issued a decree which has been styled an 
act of excessive arbitrariness. At the time of Napoleon's 
journey to Holland in the Autumn of 18 12, he had 
heard at Antwerp, that the mayor and the directors 


of customs were charged with fraud, having caused 
a loss of over two millions to the city, this sum having 
been divided amongst the embezzlers. The Emperor 
had issued a decree at Flushing, which sent the 
individuals who were accused of having embezzled 
this money, to be tried at the Court of Sessions to be 
held at Brussels. A very long trial ensued which 
ended in the accused being acquitted, on the dis- 
honest verdict of a jury, which had probably been won 
over to the side of the embezzlers in advance. As 
was to be expected this verdict produced a great 
scandal. Napoleon, who had the reports of his In- 
spectors of Finance, knew that the receiver of customs, 
directed by the mayor, and by the head of the 
department at the prefecture, had double sets of books for 
registering the receipts from the customs, and would not 
allow such a swindle to remain unpunished, and of his 
own authority suspended the verdict which acquitted 
the cheats. At the same time he commissioned the 
Court of Cassation to designate another tribunal before 
which the trial should be commenced. This decision 
was without any doubt a blow to the independence 
of the jury, but corruption triumphing, morality was 
on the other hand outraged and the conscience of 
the sovereign in whose name justice was rendered was 
charged with an obviously iniquitous judgment In this 
state of things was the embezzlement of public money 
to be encouraged with immunity, or was the insuffi- 
ciency of the law to be remedied by an act of vigour? 
Napoleon could not be expected to accept the responsi- 
bility of a decision which was calculated to injure public 
morality, and this proves his vigilance for the interests of 
the citizens even in the midst of the cares of war. 


At the same time the harbour basin of Cherbourg 
was finished, and the letting in of the sea into this 
basin, was an important event. The Emperor expressed 
his wish to the Empress that she should be present at 
this inauguration, in order to add to its solemnity. It 
was in consequence decided that Marie Louise should 
proceed to Cherbourg on her return to Paris. I give 
below the letter which Napoleon wrote on this subject 
to the Archchancellor, when he had returned to Dresden. 
The letters which I gave above, and the following 
one, will suffice to show the reach of the Emperor's 
foresight, and to what minute details he could descend : 

" My Cousin, — I shall be pleased that the Empress should go 
to Cherbourg, first of all to enjoy the beautiful sight of the 
sea being let into the basin, and secondly, to invest this 
operation with solemnity. The Minister of Marine can pre- 
cede the Empress to Cherbourg to prepare her reception, 
and the best means of amusing her during her stay. The 
Empress will leave on the 17th or the 18th, and the oper- 
ation can take place on her name-day. The principal 
authorities of the department will be present, and so interest- 
ing a spectacle will not fail to attract an immense crowd 
of sightseers. Insert all the particulars of the Empress's 
journey and return to Mayence in the papers. And here- 
upon I pray God, etc. 

" (Signed) : Napoleon." 

"Dresden, 7th Aug. 181 3. " 

Leaving Mayence, the Empress returned to Paris by 
way of Aix-la-Chapelle, following the banks of the 
Rhine. She left on August 2nd on board a yacht 
which the Prince of Nassau had placed at her service, 
the honours on board being done by an officer of the 
house of Nassau. Her suite was composed of the 

124 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Duchess de Montebello, Count of Beauharnais, Knight 
of Honour, who had followed her to Mayence ; Mes- 
dames de Talhouet, and Lauriston, General Caffarelli, 
the chamberlains Vaulgrenand and Cornelissen, Cussy 
the Prefect of the Palace, and myself. On arriving 
at Saint Goar the Empress's first care was to write to the 
Emperor. She continued her journey on the Rhine 
on the morrow, stopping at Coblentz and at Cologne. 
She left her yacht at the latter place, and took to her 
carriage. She arrived at Aix-la-Chapelle on Aug. 5th, 
visited the cathedral, and returned to St. Cloud by 
way of Liege, Namur, Soissons, and Compiegne. She 
was received in the cities in which she stopped by the 
principal authorities and never failed to give them an 
audience before her departure. On our arrival at 
Coblentz I found to my great surprise the wife of 
my colleague Mounier in a waiting-room in the house 
which was intended for the Empress's residence. Her 
husband who had remained at Dresden during the 
Emperor's journey to Mayence had taken advantage 
of his absence to pay , his wife a visit at Coblentz. 
Madame Mounier came with the wish to be presented 
to the Empress and I was delighted to be able to 
render her this slight service. Madame de Montesquiou 
was waiting where the Empress's carriage stopped to 
place her son in her arms. He was then a very fine 
child, with every appearance of strength and health, 
and his intelligence was developing in a remarkable 
manner. The Queen of Naples presented him with a 
little open carriage in which he used to drive about 
the castle gardens in great glee. This carriage axis 
drawn by a team of sheep which had been trained by 
the clever equerry. 


The inauguration of the Cherbourg harbour, which 
at first was to have taken place on the 15 th August, 
the Emperor's name-day, was put off until the 25th, 
the Empress's name-day, in order to give the Empress 
time to rest from the fatigues of the journey from 
Mayence. She was kind enough to dispense me from 
following her to Cherbourg. She arrived there : " half 
dead with fatigue, and quite broken up by the bad 
roads which she had met with after passing Carentan, 
suffocated with the dust, and with a very bad cold on 
the chest," as she herself expressed it in letters dated 
August 25th and 26th. In another letter which the 
Empress was good enough to write to me she further 
told me in speaking of this inauguration: "the basin 
was opened yesterday, but the fine moment at which 
the water burst in with a rush and a roar happened 
just at the time when everybody was at dinner, and 
nobody saw it, and, as a misfortune never comes alone, 
I also missed seeing the fireworks." 

The congress had been opened at Prague to 
treat for peace. The disposition of the allies was by 
no means pacific, but they were obliged to dissemble 
the fact. Austria had need of time to finish her pre- 
parations for war. As a matter of fact the Prague 
Congress was only a lure. Exchange of credentials 
even could not take place. The plenipotentiaries did not 
even see each other. Austria who had set the price 
of the abandonment of Illyria, half of Italy, the 
abandonment of Holland and Spain, on her alliance with 
France when Napoleon had 300,000 men in the centre 
of Germany and as yet had not succeeded in her 
object, dominated in the congress as mediator. For- 
getting her part and the necessity of holding the 

126 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

scales with an equal hand, she looked after her own 
interests whilst pleading the cause of the coalition. 
The congress which was to have opened on July 5th 
did not begin until the 29th. The allies attributed the 
delay in the opening of the negotiations to the late 
arrival of the French plenipotentiaries, who did not 
assemble at Prague until the 27th. One was the Due 
de Vicence, the other the Count de Narbonne. The latter 
was at Prague at the same time as the Russian and 
Prussian plenipotentiaries. The Due de Vicence, 
commissioned to treat for the prolongation of the truce 
was detained at Neumarkt by the real or alleged non- 
arrival of the papers of the allied commissioners, which 
delayed the signing of this convention until the 27th. 
Another motive which made the Emperor haste to 
send the Due de Vicence immediately to Prague was 
the insulting choice, so Napoleon considered it, made 
by the Russian Government in the person of 
M. d'Anstett, a born Frenchman who was serving 
against France, to represent Russia. He had been 
rejected by an Imperial decree as a Frenchman 
intervening in the name of a foreign power, in a 
treaty in which French interests were being discussed. 
The maintenance of the choice of this person was a 
sign that the allies, who were sure of the co-operation 
of Austria, considered it unnecessary to treat us with 
ordinary courtesy. A general plan of campaign had 
been definitely decided upon in the conference at 
Trachemberg, in which Austria and Sweden had equally 
tak<ii part. The Russian and Prussian envoys were 
sure in their minds, and knew perfectly what to think 
of the real intentions of these two powers. The strong- 
suspicions, amounting almost to certitude, which Napo* 

I2 7 

leon had conceived of what was being plotted against 
him for several months past, forced him to circum- 
spection, and made it necessary for him to find out 
what were the traps which were being laid for him, 
as well as the end and the imminence of the dangers 
to which he was exposed. The armistice was to expire 
on August ioth. Could 12 days, a part of which was 
passed in discussion of the forms or of the traditions 
of usages observed in similar congresses, suffice to 
resolve the question, complicated by the conflict of 
so many different interests which had to be reconciled, 
and to effect the general pacification of Europe? 
These pressing and various interests were moreover 
complicated by the pretentions, both patent and dissi- 
mulated, of the mediating power. Other incidents 
provoked by the Russian and Prussian commissioners, 
who were backed up by the mediator, helped towards 
the utter waste of precious time. All three of them 
were at a loss what to imagihe to shorten the 
duration of this ephemeral congress. The mediator 
hid her perfidious designs under a show of good-will 
towards the French negotiators, but her flagrant 
perfidy and her whole conduct showed that Austria had 
only intervened in the congress of Prague with the 
object of forcing our hands. At last, three days before 
the expiration of the truce, an ultimatum was notified 
to the French plenipotentiary. No ultimatum, even 
when it is expected, can be accepted without final 
examination. Time, which is materially necessary to 
grasp the nature of sacrifices against which there can 
be no appeal, is requisite. One must be able to yield 
with honour and without a loss of dignity. On the 
second day following, August 9th, Napoleon made 


known what concessions he consented to. They were 
those which had been asked for by the allies, except 
the reserve of the harbour of Trieste, the possession 
of which interested the mediating power alone. France 
simply insisted on obtaining a guarantee of the integrity 
of Denmark, this last restriction in favour of a faithful 
ally was an act of loyalty. On the following day, the 
ioth, at midnight the allied plenipotentiaries, encouraged 
by the news of the reverses which our arms had 
suffered in Spain, and especially by our defeat at 
Vittoria, which put an end to French domination in 
that country, without answering the last proposals of 
our envoys contented themselves in declaring through 
the Austrian plenipotentiary that their powers had 
expired. The Austrian plenipotentiary in communicating 
this declaration added that his mission was also termi- 
nated. Even in admitting that Austria's mediation had 
come to an end all negotiations with this power should 
not have been refused to us. The Austrian Cabinet, 
it is true, had prostituted the part of mediator by 
uniting itself to our enemies in spite of or rather thanks 
to this title, but we were not nominally at least at 
war with the Emperor Francis. Austria had to justify 
the attitude which she was about to take towards us: 
neutrality, alliance, or declaration of war. She preferred 
roughly to tear off the transparent mask, with which 
she had so long covered her face, and to declare war 
on France without any previous explanation. She 
was ready; all her arrangements with the coalition 
had been decided upon — her act of treachery was 
accomplished. Napoleon was expecting an answer to 
liis proposals when General Narbonne came to inform 
him of the dissolution of the congress; a last hope still 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 129 

kept the Due de Vicence back at Prague. On hearing 
this news, however, Napoleon gave his consent to 
all that had been asked of him, and sent General 
Bubna off at full speed to carry it to the Emperor 
of Austria. The answer was that it was too late (some 
hours too late !) and that he must address himself to the 
Emperor Alexander. This prince who had arrived on the 
1 6th at Brandeitz, where the Emperor of Austria was 
staying, rejected all proposals and urged the Austrian 
monarch to run the risk of war; at the same time 
Austria's manifesto appeared. M. de Bassano in a final 
note addressed to M. de Metternich, after having pointed 
out to him the perfidy of this conduct, proposed to 
him the re-union of a congress at which all powers, 
both great and small should be represented, where all 
the questions should be solemnly laid down, and 
where it w^ould not be expected that they should be 
decided upon either in a week, or a month; where 
it would be their task to consult all interests, to com- 
pensate sacrifices which had been made, and to render 
peace advantageous and honourable for all. The 
Austrian minister answered in an evasive manner to 
this note, and the resumption of hostilities was fixed 
for August the 1 6th. If a peace, concluded at Prague, 
should have become a reality, it would without doubt 
have been a good thing, especially compared with 
the rigorous conditions which were afterwards imposed 
upon France. But we have been able to form an opinion 
upon the insincerity of the intentions of our enemies 
as well as of the mediating power. In the audience which 
Napoleon had awarded to the Minister Metternich at 
Dresden in the previous month of June, he had 
reproached him with having allowed himself to be 

130 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

won over by England. The reproach was an imprudent 
one, but it was not this reproach which brought about 
Austria's desertion. The sole and real motive for this 
desertion was that the Cabinet of Vienna and the 
other cabinets of the coalition whose common interest 
it was to take advantage of our misfortunes in order 
to crush us out, were too closely bound up together. 
Austria had long since made the calculation that it 
would be better for her to unite herself to friends, 
strong in numbers, than to expose herself to the danger 
of remaining the benevolent auxiliary of an isolated ally. 
If instead of taking recourse to treachery and bad 
faith, the Austrian Cabinet had frankly and without 
ambiguity expounded wishes, which were quite natural 
in the position in which it was placed, Napoleon, con- 
vinced of its sincerity, would certainly have consented 
to sacrifices loyally asked for, feeling as he did that 
concessions on the part of France had become 
necessary. When one remembers the treaty which 
had been concluded one year previously between 
Austria and France — a treaty by which the two forces 
mutually guaranteed the integrity of each other's territory 
— one will understand all the fragility of political alliances. 
The indemnities and the increase of territory asked 
for by Austria, which we had promised to grant 
her, were not only a compensation for the charges of 
her co-operation in the Russian expedition, but further 
— do not let us forget it — "a monument of the intimate 
and lasting union which existed between the two 
sovereigns. " 

The unfortunate issue of the war of 1812, having 
made it impossible for France to keep her promises, 
Austria thought it safer to forgot her engagements and 


to crush us. Already in the month of February, she 
had changed her feelings, without however having as 
yet modified her language. The Vienna Cabinet has 
itself admitted that the allies and Austria were already 
agreed in principle, before this union was consecrated 
by treaties. Why then such a profusion of lying 
protestations? Because Austria needed the time to 
complete her armaments and to prepare her desertion. 
It is admitted that this crafty derogation on the part 
of the Vienna Cabinet from the spirit which had dic- 
tated the terms of Austria's alliance with France in 
181 2, and this violation of plighted faith, can be 
excused as very skilful political calculations. However 
this may be, the Austrian Government, according to 
our opinion, was called to play another part, the 
effects of which would have been more profitable to 
Austria in the future and above all would have been 
more honourable to the character of the Austrian 
minister. The Cabinet of Vienna ought to have re- 
mained faithful to the policy which had led to the 
sacrifice of one of the Austrian archduchesses, to have 
united itself closely to France from that day forward, 
and thus have forced Napoleon to take this attitude 
of Austria, both wise and loyal at the same time, 
into account. Instead of following this line of action, 
the Austrian Government, without at first conceiving 
the idea of overthrowing Napoleon, thought only of 
profiting by his despoilment, by entering into the 
general European coalition. It has frequently been 
said that if we had thrown gold into the scale, the 
balance would have been in our favour. That is still 
the opinion of a number of people who think corruption 
an important element of success. That was also 


Fouche's doctrine. During the Prague congress, the 
Emperor showed him a very handsome snuffbox 
enriched with diamonds, which he intended for M. de 
Metternich. " Do you know, " said Napoleon, " that 
this is a present of thirty thousand francs ? " " And 
it is with that," cried Fouche, interrupting him, "that 
you expect to win over the Austrian minister! It's 
not thirty thousand francs that you ought to give him, 
but millions." The Emperor answered with a gesture 
of disgust to the cynicism of this remark, addressed 
to the man who had the greatest horror of corruption. 
A fact which appears to be above doubt, and which 
will be entirely revealed in time, is that a secret 
council, presided over by the Emperor of Austria, and 
composed of a very small number of his most intimate 
councillors, was held at Vienna before the departure 
of Minister Metternich to Dresden. The names of the 
persons who composed this council are mentioned, and 
it is stated that at this council the reasons which 
should engage the Austrian Cabinet to remain true to 
the French alliance, or to abandon and make common 
cause with the allies, were vigorously discussed. A 
former minister, Count Baldani, known for the energy of 
his opposition to France, was summoned to this coun- 
cil. Set aside at the moment of Marie Louise's marriage, 
the enmity with which the French press treated this 
minister had caused the Emperor of Austria, whose 
confidence in him was increased by this circumstance, 
to recall him. One can easily imagine what opinions 
were expressed by this person during the discussior 
of this serious question. Suffice it to say that the 
majority of the council expressed the opinion that the 
alliance with France had not produced the favourable 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 133 

results which had been hoped for, that fidelity to this 
alliance would be sterile, and that Austria on the other 
hand would derive real and decisive advantages by 
placing herself on the side of the allies. The Austrian 
Government accordingly made up its mind to come 
to an understanding with the allies and to prepare for 
a rupture with France. Furnished with instructions in 
this spirit, M. de Metternich left for Dresden. The 
result of this minister's mission and his conversation 
with Napoleon — a conversation in which Metternich, 
so to say, laid at one stroke the foundations of 
the monument, brilliant rather than solid, which he 
proposed to raise in re-establishing the greatness of 
the Austrian empire — these things are well known. 
Metternich, moreover, in putting on the maintenance of 
his master's alliance the price of the abandonment of 
Illyria, of one half of Italy, of the protectorate of the 
Confederation of the Rhine, of Holland and Spain, 
was sure of revolting Napoleon's legitimate pride and 
of bringing him to break the feeble bonds, between 
the two empires, which he still hesitated to destroy. 

These cunning negotiations bring me to speak of 
the reproach made against the Due de Bassano of 
having dissuaded the Emperor from signing the peace 
at Prague, and under other decisive circumstances. I 
do not know on what foundations such an accusation 
has been based. It shows but a poor knowledge of 
Napoleon's character to imagine that he was accessible 
to the insinuations and influence of those about him, 
when capital resolutions, of which he considered himself 
the sole judge, had to be taken, no matter how great 
his confidence might be in the lights of his councillors. 
This reflection moreover cannot be applied to the Due 


de Bassano, who was in favour of peace. This minister 
will hold an honourable place amongst the faithful men 
who placed their faculties and their devotion at 
the Emperor's service, who helped him in his noble 
task of working for the good and for the greatness 
of his country, and whose zeal was neither servile nor 
blind. His will always be the merit of having served 
France, in the person of his chief, with fidelity and 
discernment, of never having deserved ill of his con- 
fidence, and of having remained true to him in adversity. 

The Emperor had once more to fight against the 
allied armies, increased by the entire force of Austria, 
whilst but for the intervention of this power peace 
would have been concluded. Austria's partiality at 
the congress of Prague which would be better described 
by the name of treachery, the refusal to admit the free 
discussion of concessions which were certainly worthy 
of debate, the cold and insulting rapture of the 
negotiations, which left no door open to pacification, 
convinced Napoleon that he had no other alternative 
than to conquer or to die, or to abdicate if the nation 
abandoned him. Later on, Napoleon abdicated under 
circumstances where the welfare of France seemed to 
render such a step necessary, but that was not the 
case at that time and the Emperor did not consider 
himself at liberty to surrender to foreigners provinces 
which composed the integrity of the territory which 
had been confided by the French nation to his keeping. 
With what applause would not his contemporaries and 
many of his traduccrs themselves have hailed him, 
what blessings would have been reserved for his 
memory, had he only been successful. 

The fatal news of Austria's desertion deeply affected 


the Empress Marie Louise. She feared that it might 
result in a diminution of the Emperor's affection for her, 
but he did not cease to give her proofs of his confidence. 
She on her side tried to inspire her husband with the 
trust she had in her father's probity and offered, prompted 
by a feeling which may be styled French, to act as 
peace-maker between them. Marie Louise had indeed 
at that time so entirely assumed French habits that 
in her letters to her father which were written in 
German, she was often forced to make use of French 
expressions, having forgotten the German equivalents. 
It is known that up to August 30th, 18 13, the French 
army won victories which revived hopes which had 
been weakened by Austria's desertion. The Empress 
shared in the general satisfaction created in our country 
by this good news. She did me the honour of writing 
to me from Cherbourg, on August 3 1 st, on the occasion 
of the victory at Dresden on the 27th. This is her letter : 

" My health would be good enough, but for a bad cold 
on the chest which tires me greatly. I shall, however, 
do nothing to cure it until I get back to Paris. Besides 
the good news which I have received to-day will do me 
much more good than all the drugs imaginable. I hope 
that this great victory will soon bring back the Emperor and 
peace with him." 

Another letter, dated from Rouen, September 2nd, 
Marie Louise having stopped in that town on her way 
back to Paris, ran as follows: 

" You must be very pleased with all the particulars of the 
splendid victory which the Emperor has just won. What 
pleases me most is to know that he did not expose himself. 
God grant that it may bring us peace. I want it badly, as 
do all persons who are devoted to the Emperor." 


The desertion of Austria, which had added to the forces 
of the allies 200,000 men, seemed to forebode that 
fresh enemies would rise up against us, and Napoleon 
had been obliged to prepare himself to meet this new 
situation. Already on the 16th of August, he had set 
out from Dresden, after having confided to the corps 
of Marshal Saint-Cyr the defence of this central point. 
Having travelled into Silesia in order to reconnoitre the 
Prussian army, which he defeated in several engage- 
ments, the Emperor then returned against the great 
Austrian army which had just entered Saxony. Deceived 
by the departure of Napoleon whom they believed to be in 
Silesia the Austrians wished to profit by his absence 
to take possession of Dresden, and crush the corps of 
Marshal Saint-Cyr. But Napoleon, wishing above all 
to save Dresden, returned rapidly to the capital of 
Saxony which was menaced by the great army of the 
allies. He arrived there on the 26th August in the 
morning, followed by the corps of Marshal Ney. The 
town was already surrounded by immense forces before 
which the feeble corps of Marshal Saint-Cyr was bound 
to succumb. The unlooked-for arrival of Napoleon 
restored confidence already shaken in several German 
corps allied to the French, and re-assured the king 
and his family who were preparing for flight. 
The people hailed him as a liberator. The Emperor's 
plans were quickly made. In the night of the 26th to 
the 27th August the Austro-Russian army which was 
commanded by Prince Schwarzenberg gave the signal 
for the attack, and a general and terrible battle ensued. 
Napoleon had some officers killed and wounded at his 
side, the strife only ceasing at nine o'clock at night. 
The allies lost thirty thousand men killed, wounded, 


or prisoners, a part of their artillery, and an enormous 
quantity of equipages, stragglers, and convoys of 
wounded. The French general, Moreau, returned from 
America at the instigation of Bernadotte to aid the 
Emperor of Russia in his councils, assisted at this 
battle. Injured by a mortal wound which necessitated 
the amputation of both legs, he expired the following 
day. Such was the sad end of a Frenchman, crowned 
with a splendid military aureole, whom death seized 
upon in the midst of the enemies' ranks whilst committing 
a flagrant crime against his country.* 

The Emperor of Russia had the body of General 
Moreau buried in the catholic church of Saint Peters- 
burg. He addressed a letter of condolence to his 
widow, presented her with 500,000 roubles, and con- 
ferred upon her a pension of thirty thousand roubles. 
The Emperor had assuredly the right to render these 
honours to the memory of Moreau and to accord 
these favours to the family of that general which 
was quite willing to accept them. But what is to be 
said of the King of France— Louis XVIII. — who after 
his restoration conferred on Madame Moreau the Mar- 
shal's staff which he had intended for the husband of 
this lady, and further conferred on her the honours 
and prerogatives which the wives and widows of 
Marshals enjoyed ? — what is to be said of the pro- 
position made on the 26th April, 18 14, to the senate 
by one of its members and supported by several of 
his colleagues, a proposition which had for its object 
to declare that General Moreau had merited public 

* It is said in Dresden that Napoleon aimed the cannon, which killed 
Moreau, himself. A small obelisk stands in the field where the French 
General fell, and an inscription upon it records the event. — R. H. s. 


esteem and the gratitude of his country ? — of the 
religious service ordered on the 23th June of the same 
year in the church of Saint Paul at Paris, with the 
approbation and at the expense of the king, for Pichegru, 
Georges, and Moreau, and for the eleven assassins who 
had perished with Georges? — of the royal decree of 
the 27th February, 18 15, which decreed the erection 
of statues to Moreau and to Pichegru ? Public opinion 
revolted against such an interpretation of national 
honour, it would not allow the crimes committed against 
the country to the profit of a single family to be 
glorified. The ennoblement of the family of Georges 
Cadoudal was tolerated, but public honours rendered 
to these turncoats, who had carried arms against France, 
were the fruit of an unhallowed policy, insulting and 
humiliating to the great mass of the nation. 

After the letter which informed the Empress of the 
result of the great battle of Dresden this Princess 
remained eight days without any news of the Emperor. 
She was good enough to send me the following letter 
very early in the morning of September 1 ith at St. Cloud: 

"I send you a letter from the Emperor which I received 
very late yesterday " (just a minute after I had left the 
Empress). " I think you will be glad to read it because you 
share my anxiety. As soon as you have read it be so good 
as to send it back." 

The glorious victory of Dresden was dearly paid 
for by the succession of reverses which followed, by 
the defeat which Oudinot, Duke of Reggio, met with 
at Grossbeeren, by the disaster which the Due of 
Tarente, Macdonald, met with at Katzbach, and by the 
loss of the battle of Dennewitz where Marshal Ney 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 139 

was commanding. At Grossbeeren and at Dennewitz, 
Bernadotte had the questionable honour of defeating 
French soldiers commanded by two of his oldest 
comrades-in-arms. The reverse which proved most 
fatal to us was the defeat at Culm where General 
Vandamme, who had remained behind with a corps of 
30,000 men in consequence of some misunderstanding 
which has never been explained, lost half his troops, 
60 pieces of cannon, and fell into the hands of the 
enemy with General Haxo. Shamefully treated by 
an ungenerous enemy, the French general was made 
the butt of the insults of the Russian and Prussian 
people and soldiers. General Corbineau was fortunate 
enough to force his way with a corps of cavalry which 
he commanded and with 12,000 infantry soldiers who 
were following him, and to be able to come up with the 
army. General Vandamme's false manoeuvre on which 
the success of the campaign was to depend had a 
powerful influence on the unhappy issue of events. 
Unfortunately Napoleon had not the gift of ubiquity 
and fortune was withdrawing little by little from him, 
whom she had so often favoured. The sudden illness 
with which Napoleon was stricken after the victory of 
Dresden may also be looked upon as the effect of 
fatality. Just as he was about to enter Pirna in 
pursuit of the enemy, a passing but violent indisposition, 
which had probably been caused by the quantity of 
rain to which he had been exposed, seized suddenly 
upon Napoleon, whose frequent vomiting gave rise to 
the fear that he might have been poisoned. This great 
soul, an emanation from a divine source, yielded to this 
moment of enfeeblement of his mortal coil, and the 
Emperor had to be brought back at full speed to 


Dresden in a state of absolute mental and physical 
prostration. The allied army was at that time in such 
a state of confusion that it has been admitted by the 
enemies themselves that had it been vigorously pursued it 
would infallibly have been destroyed. This fatal incident 
saved it, and all hope of winning peace disappeared. 
The series of our misfortunes dates from this day — 
misfortunes which were hurried on by the disaster of 
the days at Leipzig which brought about the succes- 
sive desertion of Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and of the 
Confederate States of the Rhine. Another desertion, 
if I may use such an expression, which must greatly 
have affected the Emperor was the spirit of hidden 
opposition which was to be noticed in several generals 
of the French army. This inclination to rebel which 
was but poorly dissimulated dated back from the time 
of our disasters during the Russian campaign. It 
developed into more definite resistance when Napo- 
leon announced his bold plan of leaving the road of 
the Rhine open to the allied troops, manoeuvring on 
their rear, threatening Potsdam and Berlin, which the 
enemies were leaving unprotected, and of raising the 
siege of the various fortresses in which we had left 
garrisons. A manoeuvre of the same kind which had 
been successfully carried out by the great Frederick in 
the Seven Years' War, promised a good result. Seeing 
that he would be badly seconded, Napoleon hesitated; 
moreover, news of the various adhesions to the coalition 
obliged him to abandon this plan. The positive assurance 
of the fidelity to the French alliance which had only 
shortly before been given by the King of Bavaria and 
his minister to the Emperor had made him hope that 
this desertion would only take place later on. I have 


heard Napoleon complain bitterly of this conduct at a 
sitting of the Council of State. The King of Bavaria, 
who was a well-intentioned but easy Prince had been 
dragged away by the rapidity of the events and by the 
persuasions of a faction which had at its head the 
ambitious General Wrede, who had been loaded with 
kindnesses by the Emperor. On Sep:. 27th Napoleon 
addressed the following letter to the Empress-Regent: — 

" Madame and Dear Friend, — You will go and preside 
at the senate and will make the following speech. The Minister 
of War will make a report and the orators of the council of 
state will present a senatus consultum for the levy of the 
conscription. You will go in a gala carriage with all suitable 
pomp, as is the custom when I go to the legislative body. 

" (Signed) : Napoleon." 

" Dresden, Sept. 27th 1813. 

"P.S. As the speech had to be written in cypher Due 
de Bassano will have it translated, and will send it to the 
Archchancellor who will hand it to you." 

The speech referred to is the one which was published 
in the Moniteur of October 8th. The senatus consultum 
ordered the levy of 280,000 conscripts, 120,000 of 
which were to be taken from the soldiers whose 
service was to begin in 18 14 and earlier, and 160,000 
of the year 18 15. This anticipation of the conscription 
of two years, which was not a reassuring sign, filled 
the Empress with sad thoughts. She was anxious 
about the future. The part which she was to play at 
the senate also frightened her by its novelty. How- 
ever her youth, ability, and the modesty of her attitude 
produced an impression upon the senators. M. de Talley- 
rand said in the evening as he was going to the 

142 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

theatrical performance at the court that she had been 
neither bold, nor timid, and that she had shown dignity, 
combined with much tact and propriety. 

The reverses which followed on the victory of Dresden, 
and Bavaria's desertion having put it out of the Emperor's 
power to manoeuvre at ease between the Elbe and the 
Oder, he decided to precede the enemy to Leipzig, where 
Prince Schwarzenberg's army was also marching. On 
October 7th, Napoleon left Dresden, which till then 
had been the centre of his operations, leaving Marshal 
St. Cyr with an army of twenty-five thousand men in 
this city, and garrisons in the forts of Magdeburg, 
Wittenberg and Torgau. The Emperor arrived at 
Leipzig on October 15th, where he was joined by the 
King and Queen of Saxony. 

On the morrow of his arrival, the allied armies 
attacked the French army at Wachau. They were 
defeated and lost twenty thousand men. Poniatowski 
won his marshal's baton there. But what was such a 
loss, however great it may appear, to an enemy which 
was constantly replacing its tired and defeated soldiers 
with fresh troops ? The Austrian general Meerfeldt, who 
was taken prisoner in this battle, was sent by JSFapoleon 
to. the Emperor of Austria, with pacific proposals which 
were coldly received by the allies. 

The enemies renewed the attack on the morrow. 
In spite of their extreme inferiority in point of numbers, 
the French troops sustained the fight, thanks to their 
heroic efforts, with advantage, but the impossibility of 
turning or breaking into an impenetrable line, formed 
of an accumulation of three hundred thousand hostile 
troops protected by more than one thousand cannon, 
the desertion of the Saxons and the Wurtembergers, 


made the scale in which the destinies of France and 
Europe were being weighed in the balance, turn in 
favour of the allies. 

All military writers have recorded the disasters which 
marked this bloody day and the morrow. I cannot, 
however, refrain from speaking, after them, of the shame- 
ful incident which marked this day of mourning — nigro 
notanda lapillo — : the desertion to the enemy of an 
allied army corps, which took place on the field of 
battle itself, in the heat of the fight, an occurrence 
unheard of in the history of modern war. In one of 
those critical moments when everybody rushes to the 
spot where there is the greatest danger, the Saxons, 
feigning to follow the general movement, advanced 
upon the enemy .... but to join it.* It was seen with 
stupor that the ranks of a foreign army, commanded 
by a Frenchman — Bernadotte — opened to receive our 
faithless allies, marching under a flag stained with the 
vilest treachery. Need it be added, alas, that this 
Frenchman threatened the general commanding the 
Saxons with branding, because, with some last traces 
of decency, the latter hesitated to turn against our 
troops the cannon which a moment before had been 
fired in their defence. 

The exhaustion of the army and the want of ammuni- 
tion rendering a fresh battle impossible, the Emperor 
decided to retreat. He returned to Leipzig to take 
leave of the King and Queen of Saxony, who begged 
him to withdraw, lest to so many disasters should be 
added his capture by the enemy, adjuring him to leave 
them to their sorrowful fate. Napoleon, moved to 

* " You come late, but you come ; " was Bernadotte's remark to the 
Saxou general, on this occasion. — R. h. s. 


tears, and kept back by his gratitude for such great 
devotion, hesitated about separating from them. In 
the meanwhile the danger of being surrounded by the 
enemy becoming imminent, the Emperor yielded to 
the pressing entreaties of his faithful and venerable 
allies. He bade them farewell and embraced them, 
assuring them that one day France would discharge 
her debt towards them, whatever might be the fate 
to which Providence destined him personally. * 

The calamities which accompanied the retreat of the 
army after the battle at Leipzig, the untimely breaking- 
down of the Elster bridge, which resulted in the 
capture of several divisions, and the death of the brave 
Poniatowski in this river, are well-known matters. The 
allies, having entered the city of Leipzig, seized upon 
the King of Saxony and sent him under escort to 
Berlin, to expiate the crime of his inviolable fidelity 
to France. 

Napoleon fell back on Erfurth with the remnants of 
his army. The King of Naples took leave of the 
Emperor there, not without emotion on both sides, for 
each felt that it was their last farewell. The insinuations 
which the Austrians had made to King Joachim, at 
his outposts, had it must be said been listened to with 
more attention by him than by the venerable King of 
Saxony. Our army's retreat was effected with fairly 
good fortune in spite of the numerous partisans who 
harassed our troops during their march. However, 
near llanau, sixty thousand Bavarians and Austrians 
undertook to bar the way to the French army. General 
Wrede commanded them. In the ardour of his zeal 
for the new cause which he had embraced the day 
♦This prophecy was realized at the Congress of Vienna, 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 145 

before, this general* — formerly so proud, as he used 
to say, of the esteem of the first hero of the century — 
and of the endowment of thirty thousand francs a year 
which he had received from him — thought to have little 
difficulty in disposing of a vanquished and retreating 
army. Success did not justify these ungrateful and 
culpable hopes. The lion, although sorely wounded, 
was not yet dead. The victory of the battle of Hanau 
opened the road back to its frontiers to the French 
army. The Austro-Bavarians lost more than ten 
thousand men in this murderous encounter. General 
Wrede was dangerously wounded there and his son- 
in-law, Prince d'Oettingen, lost his life. 

The Emperor wrote on this occasion to the Empress, 
the following letter which was intended for publication 
in the Moniteur ; 

"Madame and Very Dear Wife, 

" I send you twenty flags taken by our armies at the battles 
of Wachau, Leipzig and Hanau; it is a homage which I am 
pleased to render you. 1 wish you to consider it as a proof 
of my great satisfaction with your conduct during the regency 
which I entrusted to you. This letter having no other pur- 
pose, I pray God that He may have you in His holy and 
worthy keeping. 

"(Signed) Napoleon." 

"Given at Frankfort, November 1st, 18 13." 

These trophies were a very poor compensation for 
the losses experienced by our armies in this disastrous 

*Is not Meneval rather severe on General "Wrede, who, of course, 
was obliged to obey the orders of his master, the King of Bavaria? 
It is true on the other hand that he had received favours from Napoleon, 
at the time when he was under the Emperor's orders, but he had fully 
merited these by his brilliant conduct at Abensberg, Wagram, and in 
the Russian campaign. — R. H. S. 



campaign ; but they threw a last lustre on our arms, 
which Fortune, if not Glory, was preparing to abandon. 
The Emperor followed the letter which I have just 
quoted very closely. He arrived at Mayence on the 
morrow and the remnants of the army crossed the Rhine 
here. He only remained the time necessary to make 
the first arrangements for the defence of our frontiers, 
which were menaced by the coalition and by the 
entire forces of Germany, which only shortly before 
had been assembled under the French flag. After 
having given the most urgent orders for the re-organ- 
ization of the army, Napoleon left for St. Cloud, and 
arrived there on November 9th. 


Extraordinary Efforts for Recruiting the Army — The Tuileries Treasure is 
Used for These Expenses — Violation of the Capitulations of the French 
Garrisons Left in Dresden and in the Forts in Germany — Bad State of 
Affairs in Spain — Ferdinand VII. Sent Back to Madrid — Engagement Taken 
by This Prince — End of the Expedition to Spain — The Emperor's Brothers 
Assembled in Paris — The Pope is Sent Back to Rome —Intrigues of Every 
Kind on the Part of the Allies — The Frankfort Proposal — The Due de 
Vicence Replaces M. de Bassano at the Ministry of Exterior Relations — 
Changes in the Ministry — M. Mole — Opening of the Legislative Session — 
Committee of the Address — Adjournment of the Legislative Body — Violation 
of Switzerland's Neutrality — The Due de Vicence is Sent to the Head-Quarters 
of the Allied Armies — Exchange of Letters Between the Empress and her 
Father — Desertion of the King of Naples — The Emperor Entrusts his Wife 
and his Son to the National Guard — He Leaves for the Army — Address by 
the Empress to the National Guard — Their Answer — Battle of la Rothiere — 
Alarm in Paris — Extracts from the Correspondence Between King Joseph 
and the Emperor — Plan of Ordering the Army in Italy to March Upon 
Geneva — This Plan is Not Carried Out — King Joseph's Noble Sentiments — 
Letter from the Emperor Concerning King Murat — Opening of the Congress 
at Chatillon— Pretensions of the Allies — The Emperor's Sentiments — Victories 
at Champaubert, Montmirail, and Vauxchamps — Letter from the Emperor 
Referring to a Request for a Suspension of Hostilities Made by Prince 
Schwarzenberg — Napoleon Writes to the Emperor of Austria — This Prince's 
Reply — Renewal of the Proposal of an Armistice — Short Conferences on 
this Subject at Lusigny — Retrograde Movement of the Allied Forces to the 
Rhine — Soissons Surrendered to the Prussian Army — The Allies Recover 
from Their Alarm — Resumption of Negotiations at the Congress of Chatillon 
Which had been Suspended — Treaty of Chaumont — The Allies' Proposals 
Communicated to the Privy Council in Paris — Generals Lacuee and Dejean 
— General Dejean's Fine Character — The Emperor's Plan of Attacking 
the Rear of the Allies — Battle of Craonne — Re-occupation of Rheims — 
Retrograde Movement of the French Army After the Battle of Laon — The 
Emperor Complains of the Mayors and Citizens who Discourage the 
Resistance — The Operations of the French Army Drive the Allies to a 
Fresh Retreat — Communications from Royalists in Paris to the Chatillon 
Congress — Prince de Benevent and Due de Dalberg — March of the Allies 
on Paris — The Emperor Carries out his Plan of Attacking the Allies in the 
Rear — Sudden Dissolution of the Chatillon Congress— Attempts to Detach 
Bernadotte from the Alliance — Means Employed to Excite Public Opinion 
in Paris — Defeat of General York's Prussian Corps — Movement of the French 
Army upon Saint-Dizier — The Fear Lest the Allies Should Occupy His 
Capital Brings the Emperor Back to Paris — Confidential Letter Carried to 
the Emperor of Austria by M. de Wessemberg — The Emperor's Letter to 
the Empress is Intercepted by Blucher — Hidden Intrigues in Paris to Force 
the Emperor to Abdicate— Others Tending to Recall the Bourbons — The 
Emperor Sounded on the Point of Advising him to Conclude Peace— Reason 
of the Discontent Which He Expresses on this Subject — The Enemy's 
Scouts at the Gates of Paris— Delay in Carrying out the Works of Fortifica- 
tion Which had been Undertaken — Napoleon's Letter of March 16th — 


148 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Privy Council, Which After Reading This Letter, Decides that the Empress 
must Depart — This Princess's Refusal to Assume the Responsibility of 
Remaining in Paris — Departure on the Morrow in the Midst of the Gloomy- 
Silence of a Few Sightseers — The King of Rome's Refusal to Leave his 
Rooms — Courage of the National Guard and the Pupils of the Polytechnic 
School — Marshal Marmont is Authorized to Capitulate — King Joseph's 
Departure from Paris. 

THE pleasure of seeing his wife and son again was 
balm upon Napoleon's wounds, and it was only a 
momentary diversion from all the cares with which 
he was besieged. Every moment of his time was 
taken up by the necessity of providing for the defence 
of the territory. Councils of administration presided 
over by the Emperor were held every hour in the 
day. Extraordinary efforts were made to recruit the 
army, to remount the artillery, manufacture arms, 
and so on. The treasure which had been amassed 
during ten years in the cellars in the Tuileries was 
employed to meet this extraordinary expense. This 
treasure was the product of the fourteen million francs 
annual savings realized on the funds of the Civil list, a 
circumstance which had not prevented the Imperial court 
from being the most splendid in Europe. Such was the 
result of a well-regulated administration free from abuses. 
On his return to Paris the Emperor heard of the 
capitulation of Marshal Saint-Cyr's corps which he 
had left in Dresden. By the terms of this capitulation 
these troops were to re-enter France, with the engage- 
ment taken in their name not to serve against the 
allies during a period which was fixed. The General 
in Chief, Schwarzenberg, refused to ratify this clause, 
making Marshal Saint-Cyr the ridiculous offer to return 
to Dresden where the French army placed as it was 
at the moment of the capitulation would be at liberty 
to recommence the struggle. In consequence the Marshal 


remained a prisoner of war with his army corps. This 
sad example of a violation of plighted faith given by 
the Austrian General in Chief was followed by the allied 
sovereigns with regard to the Dantzig garrison. The 
allied forces refused to ratify the capitulation, which 
granted the return to France of General Rapp and 
the French garrison. These honourable victims of the 
bad faith of our enemies were shut up in the prison 
at Kiew. The allies also violated the engagements 
which had been stipulated by them, with regard to 
our garrisons, at the time of the capitulation of 
Wittemberg and Torgau. The other forts which were 
still occupied in Germany fell one after the other into 
the hands of the enemy. The French garrisons which 
we had left there would have sufficed to compose a 
large army. 

News from Spain was no better. The Spaniards 
who had placed the command of their forces in the 
hands of Lord Wellington, were now no longer fighting 
for their freedom ; they were threatening the territory 
of France. The Emperor had resigned himself to con- 
clude a treaty with Ferdinand, who had remained a 
prisoner at Valencay, dated Dec. nth, 18 13 — a treaty 
which sent back to the Spaniards a master who was 
to avenge the French conqueror. By this treaty Napo- 
leon acknowledged Ferdinand as King of Spain and 
of the Indies, and undertook to withdraw the French 
troops from the Spanish territory. The King on his 
side promised to make the English troops evacuate 
Spain; prisoners on both sides were to be exchanged. 
Amongst other stipulations the King of Spain under- 
took to pay his father King Charles IV. and the 
Queen, an annual pension of 30,000,000 of reals — 


7,500,000 francs. I must not omit to relate, because it 
is another trait of Ferdinand's character, that whilst 
this prince was signing the treaty which he had no 
intention of carrying out, he renewed his request to 
obtain one of the Emperor's nieces in marriage, the lady 
whom he asked for being one of King Joseph's 

Marshal Suchet was commissioned to receive King 
Joseph and the princes of his family on their return 
from Spain. He had maintained himself in the pro- 
vinces in the East with brilliant success for a long 
time. This Marshal was in occupation of Valencay 
when he received the news of the defeat of Vittoria, 
and the order to approach the frontiers without aban- 
doning the principal forts, which he left in a good 
state of defence and provided with garrisons whose 
total amounted to about 20,000 men. The retreat of 
the French had begun on July 5 th; Marshal Suchet, 
who had become Duke of Albufera as a reward for 
his splendid services, set up his cantonments in the 
neighbourhood of Barcelona, after having rallied the 
army in Aragon. He handed over the forts in Aragon 
and Catalonia to Ferdinand, who undertook by a written 
covenant to return the French garrisons who might still 
be there at the earliest possible opportunity ; but he did 
not keep this promise. The violation of his promises and 
the non-execution of the clause of the Valencay treaty, 
left Marshal Suchet no other alternative than to 
recross the Pyrenees. 

King Joseph, whom we left re-established in his capital, 
not having been able to maintain himself there was 
forced to think of leaving Madrid. The French army in 
the Peninsula had further been weakened by the loss 


of 12,000 men who had received orders to return to 
France. The disasters which our soldiers had encoun- 
tered in Russia, published in the fatal twenty-ninth bulle- 
tin, hastened on the evacuation of Madrid which this time 
became definite. Joseph proceeded to Valladolid and 
Burgos, where he remained for some days on the defensive 
with an army of about 30,000 men, escorting long columns 
of equipages of every kind, and the baggage of more 
than two thousand Spanish families who were following 
the fortunes of Napoleon's brother. The operations of 
the enemy's general obliged King Joseph to fall 
back upon Vittoria; a part of the convoy was sent in 
the direction of Tolosa. Attacked on June 2 1 st before 
Vittoria by hostile forces, three times superior in 
numbers, coming from the left and from the right, 
King Joseph's army was completely routed, without 
General Clausel's corps being able to rejoin him. 
This disastrous day settled the fate of Spain, when 
however the loss in men was not as great as was to 
be feared from the obstruction which hampered the 
movement of the French army ; this loss consisted of 
about 5000 men killed, wounded or prisoners. The 
enemy lost about as many, but all our war material 
fell into their hands. The French left a garrison 
of four thousand men in Pampeluna, and the remnants of 
our army withdrew to Bayonne. Joseph cast off his 
empty title of King and went to seek in his fatherland 
rest, if not oblivion, after a life so alien to the 
gentleness of his manners and character. 

It became necessary to bestow on the army in Spain a 
leader able to unite its debris, and check the progress of 
the enemy. The Emperor sent off Marshal Soult, invested 
with the chief command, at full speed. The Anglo- 


Spanish armies could not be checked in their march from 
the Pyrenees, and Marshal Soult, after having disputed 
the ground inch by inch was forced to draw back to 
Bayonne, where the victorious army of the enemy 
followed him. The battle of Toulouse was violently 
contested and both armies experienced heavy losses. 
It remained without any useful result, and was the 
last act of this great drama. 

Thus ended the important expedition to Spain, 
where, as in the memorable Russian campaign the 
bravest soldiers in the world commanded by generals 
educated in a great school, and guided by the most 
illustrious captain of ancient and modern times, ended 
in immortal struggles a career of twenty years of 
glory. These struggles will not be sterile, these bands 
of veterans nobly fulfilled their task. Marching victori- 
ously through Egypt and the capitals of the continent, 
from the icy regions of the north, down to the Pillars 
of Hercules, they scattered broadcast on their way 
the seeds of civilization, of generous and valiant ideas, 
which will surely bear their fruits. They displayed a 
heroism and military virtues which will serve as an 
example and as a lesson to those who shall come after us. 

The Emperor's brothers were assembled in Paris, 
with the exception of Lucien, who remained in Rome, 
and who did not return to Napoleon until 18 15. King 
Joseph after the Anglo-Spanish armies had crossed 
the Pyrenees had returned to the fatherland, which 
he had only quitted to act in conformity with 
the desires and views of his powerful brother. The 
King of Westphalia, forced by the insurrection in 
Germany and by our enemies to abandon his 
kingdom, had sought refuge in France with Queen 


Catherine. The violation of Swiss territory by the 
allies did not allow the former King Louis of 
Holland to prolong his stay there. He arrived in 
Paris on January 1st, 18 14, and was coldly received 
by the Emperor, but he found assistance and protection 
in France. Still anxious to recover the throne of 
Holland he had made a fresh application with this in 
view to the Emperor in the month of March, i8i3,and 
towards the end of September to the authorities in 
Amsterdam; but Holland was waiting for the allies 
to lay down the law. The re-establishment of the 
House of Nassau having destroyed all King Louis's 
hopes, he resigned himself to forget them, and thought 
of nothing more than to live in retirement. He was 
in a deplorable state of health, nearly crippled in all 
his members, no remedy having been able to check 
the progress of his disease. King Lou?s came to Paris 
with a hope of being able to go and live on his 
estate at St. Leu, but followed the Empress on her 
departure from Paris to Blois. When the Bourbons 
had returned to Paris he took leave of the Empress 
and of her son and returned to Switzerland whence 
he afterwards proceeded to Rome. King Joseph also 
took refuge in Switzerland, and lived there very quietly 
until the Emperor's return from the Island of Elba. The 
King of Westphalia returned with his Queen to the 
States of the King of Wurtemberg, his father-in-law, 
who treated him like a proscript. He was at Trieste 
and preparing to make his way to Rome, when the events 
of March, 18 15, recalled him to Paris. 

The state of religious affairs and the absence of the 
sovereign Pontiff from Rome caused an irritation which 
was to be removed by the return of the Pope to 


Rome. Pourparlers with this object in view were held 
at Fontainebleau. This negotiation was entrusted to 
Countess Brignole, lady in waiting to the Empress and 
mother of the ambassador of Sardinia to Paris under 
the Restoration. She is the only woman ever employed 
by the Emperor in diplomatic negotiations. It is 
necessary to add that the friendship which bound this 
lady to Cardinal Consalvi and her relations in Rome, 
where one of her sons was a prelate, decided the 
Emperor in his choice, as much as her personal qualities. 
In short every effort calculated to remedy our evils 
or to increase our resources was tried. In the mean- 
while however the allied powers were intoxicated 
with the successes they had gained. They worked 
Napoleon's pride and misfortunes to their advantage 
and seemed to sport with his agony. They stirred up 
the hotbeds of Jacobinism, of national prejudices, of fana- 
ticism, to inflame with their sparks the passions of the 
peoples of Germany against the man who had extin- 
guished the hatreds and furies of the French Revolution. 
They blindly hurried on the destruction of the sovereign 
who had saved the royal houses from the effects of 
the revolutionary propaganda and who re-assured the 
thrones by the establishment in France of a political 
state which resembled the forms of European govern- 
ments. Napoleon might have appealed against them 
by calling out a mass levy of the nation ; if the great 
corporations of the state, joining their voices to that 
of the Emperor in one patriotic thought, had sanctioned 
this appeal to the nation, France might still have been 
saved. But to reduce himself to play the part of an 
adventurer, to put his glory into the lists with evil 
passions, to resuscitate, by illegal and disturbing mea- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 155 

sures, the factions and the anarchy which he had 
destroyed, to organize, it might be, a civil war, 
these things Napoleon was not willing to do. He 
sacrificed to the fear of such great calamities, his 
crown and the future of his son and of his family; 
he did not wish to appear in the eyes of posterity 
as a mere vulgar ambitious man; and the French 
people, rejecting the vulgar accusation which has been 
made against Napoleon by the Utopians, of having 
been the enemy of public liberties, has done him 

Lying words of peace, dictated by a false semblance 
of moderation, were transmitted from Frankfort by M. 
de Saint-Aignan, who had been detained prisoner at 
Weimar, where he occupied the post of French ambas- 
sador. "Whilst the ambassadors of Austria, Russia, 
and England, with whom M. de Saint-Aignan had 
been put into communication, were appearing desirous 
of opening out negotiations, the enemy's generals 
were deciding on the plan of an invasion of France. 
It suited the allies to show themselves under a 
pacific exterior, so as better to dupe the French nation 
and to isolate Napoleon, by pointing him out as a man 
whose personal ambition was the only obstacle to 
complete pacification. * The Emperor had however 
caused M. de Saint-Aignan's proposals to be answered 
to the effect that he consented to the proposed con- 
ditions : France to be limited to her natural frontiers, 
the Rhine, the Alps and the Pyrenees ; Spain to be 
restored to her former dynasty; Italy, Germany, and 

*The Frankfort declaration of Dec. 1st, 181 3, and Prince Schwarzen- 
berg's proclamation to the French, which preceded the invasion and 
contained, inter alia, the statement : " We are not making war on 
France, &c." — R. H. S. 


Holland to be re-established in their independence. 
Napoleon proposed the meeting of a congress at Mann- 
heim to treat on this basis. The Austrian ambassador 
answered that the two Emperors and the King of 
Prussia had been pleased with his consent to their 
proposals, that they transmitted them to the co-allies, 
and that they accepted the selection of the town of 
Mannheim. And whilst the allies allowed the Austrian 
ambassador to dupe Napoleon with the hope of a 
pacification which was very far from their intentions, 
they published the declaration of Frankfort, of De- 
cember 1 st, in which they made it public that they 
were not making war on France, but on the Emperor 
alone and the preponderance which he had too long 
exercised beyond the limits of his empire. They pro- 
tested the most liberal intentions towards France, which 
they desired to see remain " great, strong and happy, " 
assurances which were as sincere as were their overtures 
of peace. This was to be seen very soon, when our 
enemies had accomplished the resolution — about which 
they had hesitated — of crossing our frontiers. In spite 
of M. de Metternich's fine promises the Due de Vicence, 
who was waiting at the outposts for them to be 
carried into effect, could not succeed to be admitted 
to negotiate for peace, and hostilities, which had not 
been interrupted, were pushed on with new vigour. 

On his return to France the Due de Vicence was 
appointed Minister of Exterior Relations, replacing 
the Due de Bassano, who was, unjustly, supposed to 
have been sacrificed to the intrigues of the peaGe 
party. The real reason of the selection of the Due 
de Vicence was the hope that the favour which this 
minister had enjoyed with the Emperor Alexander, during 


his mission to St. Petersburg, would place him in a 
position to render useful services, and fitted him more 
than anybody else to bring affairs to a happy 

M. de Bassano returned to the Ministry of State 
Secretaryship. Count Daru passed to the Ministry 
of War Administration, which had been left vacant 
by the retirement of Count Lacuee de Cessac. The 
Emperor, in appointing a successor to this honest and 
rigid administrator, endowed with the same qualities, 
considered Monsieur Daru more accustomed to the 
prompt despatch of business and the details of so vast 
an administration. 

The Due de Massa — Regnier — who needed rest on 
account of his bad state of health, ceded the Ministry 
of Justice definitely to Count Mole, who had been 
directing it in his place since the preceding month 
of June. His name, one of the most illustrious in 
the magistracy, and his familiarity with hard work, 
which was proved by a book of real value which 
M. Mole had published at the age of twenty-five, had 
attracted the Emperor's attention. The young author 
of the ^ Ess at de Morale et de Politique" , was included 
in the first list of auditors, created in 1806, and was 
rapidly promoted to the posts of prefect, councillor 
of state, and director-general of the department of 
bridges and highways. Napoleon liked M. Mole very 
much and treated him with a kindness which the latter 
returned with a great devotion. On his return from 
the Island of Elba, the Emperor proposed the Ministry 
of Exterior Relations and then the Ministry of the 
Interior to M. Mole, which the former Grand Judge 
refused to accept, believing himself, it is said, bound 


by the oath which he had taken to the re-established 
monarchy. Although personally I must regret that 
AL Mole refused the Emperor the assistance of his 
talents under such grave circumstances, his scruples in 
any case are worthy of praise rather than of blame. 
What cannot be denied to Count Mole is a loyal 
heart and a distinguished intelligence. He showed 
great wisdom and no ordinary capacity in the ad- 
ministration of business. His honourable character 
won for him general esteem and respect. 

The Emperor opened the legislative session on 
December 1 9th, 1 8 1 3 ; his words to the represen- 
tatives of the nation were noble and touching. The 
deputies appointed a committee to draw up the address. 
The answer of the Legislative body was bound to 
have great weight not only on public opinion but 
also on the intentions of the allies. Napoleon, trusting 
to the patriotic feelings of the majority of this assembly, 
wished the committee to be composed of men not 
dependent on the government. And, as a matter of 
fact, men wmo were strangers to public functions were 
chosen, men devoted to the study of literature and laws, 
but who thought less of serving the interests of the 
country than of parading their independence ; the 
royalists' way of thinking even found echoes amongst 
them. The deputies who composed this committee 
were MM. Laine, barrister at Bordeaux *; Raynouard, 
author of the tragedy "Les Templiers* ; Gallois, a former 

* Described by Napoleon in his famous tirade to the Legislative Body 
as "a bad man, who is in communication with the Bourbons through 
I ).-.'/.-, the barrister." Napoleon added that it was his intention to 

keep "his eye on him, and on all those open to the suspicion of being 

engaged in guilty intrigues." — k. II. S. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 159 

tribune ; Flaugergues, a barrister at Toulouse, and Maine 
de Biran, a former " garde-du-corfts'\ a man who was 
generally respected, but who did not understand the 
situation in which France and the Emperor were placed at 
that time. M. Gallois drew up a report. Napoleon had 
accused M. Laine of having been in secret intelligence 
with the English government with a view of restoring 
the Bourbons. I know that he had very strong sus- 
picions in the matter. M. Laine himself undertook to 
justify the accusation brought against him. M. Ray- 
nouard attracted attention to himself by his violence. 
His tragedy called "Les Etats du Blois" which had been 
performed in 18 10 at the theatre at St. Cloud, and 
also his tragedy *Les Temp Iters" ', had been severely 
judged by the Emperor. The poet's self-esteem is 
very touchy. Might not one think that M. Raynou- 
ard was influenced in this matter by his recollection 
of the way in which Napoleon had criticized his plays? 
Instead of calling upon the nation to unite itself closely 
to its Chief the commission, whilst agreeing that an 
energetic defence was necessary to obtain peace, com- 
plained about the oppression of the people, asked for 
guarantees against arbitrary power, and demanded the 
execution of laws favourable to liberty and to the 
free exercise of political rights. These remonstrances 
which would have been admissible at any other time 
but which were most untimely then constituted a bill 
of indictment against a man in whose power alone it 
lay to save the state ; they discredited him in the eyes 
of Europe and of the nation, the nation which had to 
be called to arms to defend an invaded territory. In 
the same way the Greeks were busy with religious 
squabbles, when the battering-ram of Mahomet II. 


was already dashing against the doors of Constantinople. 
The legislative body adopted the report of the commit- 
tee by a large majority. A proof of this report having 
been carried to the Emperor he summoned a Privy 
Council at the instance of which the violent measure of 
dissolving the legislative body was adopted. Since 
there was no means of coming to an understanding 
this measure imposed itself. * The legislative body 
instead of being a lever became a club in the hands 
of the intriguing ringleaders. In my audiences in 
the evening with the Emperor, rendered deeply anxious 
by the spirit of opposition which took advantage of 
his adversity to crush him at the very time when he 
stood in need of help, he used to ask me what the 
Empress thought of this struggle so new for this 
princess, and the measure which had been its conse- 
quence. I must mention that I used to see the 
Emperor with the same intimacy as in the past. I 
found him careworn although he did his best to 
master his anxiety. But in public his face was calm 
and re-assured. In our conversations he used to com- 
plain of feeling tired of war and of not being able to 
endure horse-exercise any more. He reproached me 
in jest with having fine times, whilst he painfully 
dragged his plough — such was his expression; in one 
word, he felt that he was no longer happy. One 
could not help looking at him with melancholy interest, 
and seeing Napoleon unhappy my veneration for him 

The enemy crossed the Rhine on the last day of 

♦Compare Thiers' account of and criticism on Napoleon's violent 
speech to the Legislative Body on Jan. ist, 1814. It presents the 
l< t <.! tin- deputies in a very different tight — R. EL s. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 161 

1813. The allied armies had hesitated a long while; 
the prestige of glory still covered our frontiers, besides, a 
divergence of the political interests of the various powers 
divided them on the great question of an invasion of 
France. The promptings and the encouragements of con- 
spirators in the interior of the country made them waver 
without deciding them. What at last put a stop to 
their hesitations was an offer which was made to them of 
a passage through Switzerland. The oligarchical party 
in Berne, which before the act of mediation had asked 
for Austria's intervention in the interior affairs of 
Switzerland, was raising its head again. This party 
encouraged by Baron Senft de Pilsach who was a 
turn-coat from the Saxon military service, proposed to 
Prince Schwarzenberg who had become commander-in- 
chief of the allied armies to surrender him the way 
through the valleys. Switzerland, heedless of her 
independence and forgetting the benefits which she 
had derived from the act of mediation, allowed her 
neutrality to be violated, a neutrality the inviolability 
of which the Diet had only just solemnly proclaimed. 
She thus opened the way to the allied forces, who 
were in this way able to cross our frontiers without 
hindrance, for France reposing too great confidence in 
the good faith of Switzerland had neglected to fortify 
them on that side. 

Five days after the adjournment of the legislative 
council, January 4th, 18 14, the Emperor sent the 
Due de Vicence to the head-quarters of the allies 
with instructions, which have been made public, and 
which show Napoleon's desire for peace. It was said 
in these instructions that if fortune betrayed him his 
mind was made up, that he did not care for the throne, 

1 62 meneyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

and that he would leave it rather than submit to 
shameful conditions. The Due de Vicence who was 
detained a fortnight at Luneville at last obtained an invi- 
tation to proceed to Chatillon, where Lord Castlereagh 
had just arrived. A sham congress was to be assembled 
there at the same time that the armies of the enemy were 
pursuing their march onward in the French provinces. 
The Empress Marie Louise kept up a vigorous corre- 
spondence with her father. She used to receive from 
him nothing but assurances of interest and repeated 
promises that he would never sacrifice, whatever might 
happen, the cause either of his daughter or of his 
grandson.. Such however was not the intention of the 
coalition. As a general rule the sovereigns personally 
were not at all hostile towards the Emperor, they were 
influenced and even dominated by the ascendency 
Which England and the high aristocracy of Europe 
exercised on their cabinets and on the leaders of their 
armies. Napoleon used to say at St. Helena that 
democracy was violent, but that one could come to 
an understanding with it, that the aristocracy, on the 
other hand, was cold and implacable and never 

Napoleon having realized in six weeks all that 
will, energy of character, and superhuman activity could 
create in the way of resources, he could no longer put 
off his departure for the army. On January 23rd, two 
days before his departure, the Emperor assembled the 
officers of the legions of the National Guard in the 
Tuileries Palace, and presenting the Empress and the 
King of Rome to them he said: "I am going to fight 
the enemy. I entrust to you what I have dearest — 


the Empress, my wife, and the King of Rome, my 
son." He confirmed the Empress's Regency with fresh 
letters patent and left on the 24th, after having embraced 
his wife and his son whom he was never to see again. 
Before leaving this palace which he quitted full of 
care and at the same time full of hope, Napoleon had 
the sorrow of hearing that Joachim Murat the King of 
Naples, his brother-in-law, had declared himself in 
favour of the allies in treaties signed with Austria and 
England, and was marching with a Neapolitan army 
against the French troops under the command of 
Prince Eugene. I will not speak at any length on the sad 
consequences which this fatal error had for Napoleon's 
political and military arrangements, although the war 
between Eugene and Murat was limited to an exchange 
of proclamations. My respect for the memory of the 
valiant and unfortunate King of Naples, and the 
bitterness of my regrets, invite me to keep silence, 
I know that King Joachim had a terrible struggle with 
himself before coming to so fatal a decision. He 
flattered himself that having taken this extreme step 
he would be able to reserve himself the means of serv- 
ing the Emperor in the future. He was very far from 
thinking that this enterprise would lead him very shortly 
afterwards to the loss of his throne and of his life. 

On the morrow of Napoleon's departure to the army, 
a deputation of the National Guard with Marshal Moncey, 
assistant-Major-General, who was commanding it in the 
Emperor's absence, at its head, was presented to the 
Empress Regent by Cambaceres, the Archchancellor. 
Marshal Moncey read out an address in answer to the 
words which the Emperor had addressed to the officers 

164 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

of the National Guard, which we have quoted higher 
up. Very late on the same day I had received the 
following letter from the Empress : — 

" I want you to come to me rather earlier to-morrow. 
There is nothing less to do than to write an answer to the 
speech of the National Guard. I hope that your advice will 
help me to make a fine speech as I am totally lacking in 
ideas for the time being. I beg you to believe in all the 
sentiments with which I am your very affectionate 

" Louise." 

I went to the Empress very early on the morrow, 
and, under her eyes, wrote the following answer to the 
deputation of the National Guard : 

"Gentlemen, Officers of the Guard, I am deeply touched 
by the sentiments which you have just expressed, and am 
happy to have to transmit them to the Emperor. In the 
midst of the anxieties and cares of every kind with which 
he is surrounded his heart will be flattered with the new 
assurance of fidelity and devotion of which the National Guard 
of Paris has so often given him proofs. The Emperor, in 
placing me and my son in your midst fulfilled a wish which 
was dear to me. My confidence in the good inhabitants of 
Paris is entire. The proofs of affection which I have received 
from them are pledges of what I may expect. Present cir- 
cumstances would be very fitting to tighten the bonds which 
attach me to them, had not our sentiments and our interests 
been made one long ago, were not my cause inseparable 
from those of all the French." 

Marie Louise, who felt the necessity of winning the 
confidence and interest of the people of Paris in provi- 
sion of events which might bring the enemies to the 
gates of the capital, adopted this answer, but she was 


obliged to submit it to the approval of the Arch- 
chancellor, who was the first councillor of the Regency. 
The Archchancellor did not find it sufficiently 
dignified. It also seemed to him too personal. He 
contented himself with making the Empress say that 
she had shared the sentiments expressed by the Emperor 
in his speech to the National Guard, that like him she 
had entire confidence in the courage, the devotion, 
and the fidelity of the officers of this guard, and that 
she would give orders that their address should be 
transmitted without delay to the Emperor. The Empress 
told him that she feared this answer might be found 
rather cold ; the national guard was full of such a spirit 
of patriotism that it never failed in its duty in the mo- 
ment of danger. I have quoted this fact because it is 
a proof of the good-will and the praiseworthy senti- 
ments which at this time animated the Empress Marie 

The territory was invaded, the Emperor had marked 
the commencement of his immortal campaign in France 
with the glorious battle of Brienne, but attacked after- 
wards by forces three times superior in numbers, he had 
just lost the battle of La Rothiere. It was feared in Paris 
that the enemy would be seen before our walls ; and so 
great was the alarm that for a moment the question 
was discussed whether or not the great city should be 
evacuated. The Emperor himself was troubled by the 
prospect of this danger, and of the critical circumstances 
in which the Empress-Regent's Government and the 
Cabinet of the Empire might find themselves involved. 
Several letters were addressed by him from the army to 
his brother Joseph. As these letters are well known 


to-day, and have appeared in various publications, we 
will only quote here those which seem to us of most 
interest. On Feb. 8th the Emperor wrote the following 
letter from Nogent to his brother: 

"Nogent sur Seine, Feb. 8th 1814. 
"My Brother, 

"Hand this letter into the Empress Josephine's own 
hands. I write to her that she should write to Eugene. Tell her 
to send you the letter she writes, and send it off at once by 

"Your affectionate Brother 

King Joseph answered the Emperor on Feb. 10th, 
and informed him that the Empress Josephine's letter to 
Eugene had been sent off by estafette, and that this 
letter had been as pressing at it could be. This letter 
referred to the order given to Prince Eugene to march 
with his army to Geneva to join Marshal Augereau. 
If subsequent events, notably what was going on in 
Naples, had not obliged the Emperor to renounce this 
movement, the consequences might have been most 
important. The entrance of Prince Eugene and his 
troops on French territory would indeed have given 
fresh and fruitful activity to the military operations 
which were so feebly directed by Augereau on this 
side. The imminence of the danger which was menacing 
Italy, in consequence of the desertion of the King of 
Naples, caused the Emperor intense anxiety and he 
wrote the following letter to King Joseph: 

"Troves, Feb. 26th, 1814. 
" My Brother, 

" It appears that the allies have not yet ratified the King 
of Naples' treaty. I wish you to send one of your people 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 167 

to proceed with all haste to the King, that you should write 
to him in a very plain-spoken manner on the iniquity of his 
conduct, offering to be his intermediary to bring him back 
again, and that this is the only thing that remains for him 
to do or else his ruin is certain, either at the hands of 
France or of the allies. I need not remind you here all 
that you can say to him. The English themselves do not 
acknowledge him as king. It is not too late to save Italy 
and replace the viceroy on the Adige. Write also to the 
Queen of her ingratitude, which nothing can justify and which 
disgusts even the allies .... write that as no battle has yet 
taken place between the French and Neapolitan troops 
all can yet be arranged, but that there is not a moment to 
be lost. Senator Fouche is still in these cantons. You 
might write to him to deal with these matters with the 
person whom you will send. 

"(Signed): Napoleon." 

This episode which relates to King Joachim, must 
not delay me any longer in the chronological recital 
of the events of this sad year, 18 14. In these times 
of trouble and anguish King Joseph's prudence and 
firmness were not wanting to Napoleon, as is proved 
by the following letter, full of energetic sentiments 
and a noble resignation. 

Letter from Joseph to Napoleon : 

" Paris, February 9th., at 1 1 o'clock in the morning. 
" Sire, 

" I receive a letter from the Minister of War, and send 
your Majesty the original copy. You will see that our 
resources in rifles are reduced to six thousand and that it is 
consequently impossible to hope for a reserve army of from thirty 
to forty thousand men in Paris. Events are stronger than 
men, Sire, and when that is established it appears, to me 
that it is true glory to preserve what one can obtain. It is 

1 68 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

not glorious to expose a precious life to a too evident danger, 
since it is not advantageous for a great number of men who 
have attached their existences to yours .... Nobody here 
has anything to do, either directly or indirectly, with what I 
am writing to your Majesty, with entire freedom of speech, 
just as it strikes my mind. 

"You must submit to fate with courage, whether fate allows 
you to hope to be able to cause the happiness of a great 
number of men, or that it forces you to commit yourself, 
giving you no choice except between death and dishonour, 
and I see no dishonour for Your Majesty, as things stand, 
except in abandoning the throne, because such an abandon- 
ment would cause the misfortune of a large number of people 
who have staked their all on you. If then you can make 
peace, make it at any price. If you cannot, you must perish 
like the last Emperor of Constantinople; there is a splendid 
end for you ! — In this case your Majesty can be assured, 
that in all and for all, I will obey your behests, and that I 
shall never do anything unworthy either of You or of myself. 


Whilst the military operations were following their 
course, the congress opened at Chatillon-sur-Seine. On 
February 7 th the allies, full of pride at the success 
which they had gained at La Rothiere, disavowed the 
bases which they themselves had proposed at Frank- 
fort, which the Emperor had accepted and which 
assigned her natural frontiers to France. They de- 
manded that she should return to the limits which 
had bounded her before 1792, that she should renounce 
all sovereignty or protectorate in Italy, Germany and 
Switzerland. The Due de Vicence, already on February 
5th had full powers for signing peace. Napoleon in 
vesting him with unlimited powers, was not aware of 
the new pretensions of the allies. The Due de Vicence 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 169 

did not think that he could take upon himself to make 
use of his full powers. He informed the Emperor of 
the communication which had been made to him. 
Napoleon declared that he was unable to leave France 
smaller than he had received her in 1800; that he 
would not purchase the conservation of his crown with a 
degrading treaty, and that he would abdicate if the 
nation did not support him. The Due de Bassano and 
the Prince de Wagram implored the Emperor to yield 
to necessity. Napoleon consented to close his eyes, 
but refused to dictate himself the conditions of his 
humiliation, or to consecrate, by an order signed with his 
own hand, the degradation of France. He did not 
however revoke the unlimited powers which he had 
given to the Due de Vicence. The latter fulfilled the 
painful part with which he was charged at the con- 
gress, with courage and devotion. He resigned himself 
in consequence to the hard condition of the former 
boundaries, but demanded that hostilities should cease at 
once. For all answer the ambassadors of the allies, 
satisfied at having obtained this concession, brusquely 
suspended the conferences. They alleged that they 
needed fresh instructions. They feared that perhaps 
they had not exacted enough. Considering no doubt 
that France had not fallen low enough, they thought 
to inflict a still crueller degradation upon her. 

Napoleon hoping for nothing more from such ene- 
mies, far from allowing himself to be cast down by their 
exactions, found in the resources of his genius one of 
those heroic manoeuvres which were familiar to him, 
with the result that he won the battles of Champaubert, 
Montmirail and Vauxchamps, besides several combats 
which filled the allied forces with terror. Their 


plenipotentiaries made haste to have recourse to their 
usual tactics. They renewed the fallacious proposal 
of an armistice. This is the letter which Napoleon 
wrote to his brother Joseph on this subject: 

"Nangis, February 18th, 18 14. 

"My Brother, 

" Prince Schwarzenberg has at last given signs of life. 
He has just sent a flag of truce to ask for a suspension of 

" It is difficult to be cowardly to this degree. He had con- 
stantly refused, and in the most insulting terms, any kind 
of suspension of arms or armistice, and even to receive my 
flags of truce, after the capitulation of Dantzig and of Dresden, 
a horrible thing of which but few examples can be found in 
history. At the first shock these wretches fall down on their 
knees. Fortunately Prince Schwarzenberg's aide-de-camp 
was not allowed to enter; I only received his letter, which 
I shall answer at leisure. I shall grant no truce till they 
have quitted our territory. According to the news in my 
possession all has changed amongst the allies. The Emperor 
of Russia, who a few days ago had broken off negotiations, 
because he wished to inflict worse conditions on France than 
that of the former frontiers, is anxious to resume them; and 
I hope very shortly to conclude peace on the Frankfort basis, 
which is the minimum of peace with honour that I can con- 
clude. Before commencing my operations, I had offered 
them to sign for peace on the condition of the former limits, 
provided they should immediately cease fighting. This demand 
was made by the Due de Vicence on the 8th. They answered 
negatively, saying that the signature of the preliminaries would 
not put a stop to hostilities, and that this could only take 
place when all the clauses of the treaty of peace had been 
Bigned. This inconceivable answer was punished and yes- 
terday, the 17th, they asked me fur an armistice. You can 
imagine that seeing myself on the eve of a battle in which 


I was decided to conquer or to die, and in which if I yielded, 
my capital would have been lost, I would have consented to 
anything to avoid so great a risk. I owed this sacrifice of 
my self-respect, to my people and to my family. But, since 
they refused, since the hazard of the battle was played and 
that all has returned to the chances of an ordinary war, where 
the result of a single battle can no longer menace my capital, 
when all possible chances are in my favour, I owe it to the 
interests of the Empire and to my glory to negotiate for a 
real peace. If I had signed peace on the condition of the former 
limits, I should have rushed to arms two years later; and I 
should have told the nation that it was not peace but a 
capitulation that I had signed. I could not say so, under 
the new state of things, since, fortune having returned to my 
side, I am master of my conditions. The enemy is in a very 
different position from the one in which it was placed when 
the Frankfort treaty was proposed and pretty well assured 
that it will bring few of its soldiers back over our frontiers. 
Its cavalry is nearly worn-out; its infantry is exhausted by 
all these marches and counter-marches. In one word it is 
completely discouraged. I accordingly hope to be able to 
conclude a peace, such as should satisfy any reasonable man, 
and my wishes do not extend beyond the proposals made at 

" (Signed) : Napoleon." 

The mission of Prince Schwarzenberg's aide-de-camp, 
sent with a flag of truce, prompted Napoleon to write 
directly to the Emperor of Austria to express the desire 
that negotiations might take a more conciliatory turn 
and might lead to a speedy signing of the peace. 
The victories of Nangis and Montereau gave Napoleon 
fresh hopes. 

In the meanwhile, the conferences had recommenced 
on February 17 th, at Chatillon. On the same day the 


Emperor had revoked the unlimited powers which he 
had granted to the Due de Vicence, the victory of 
the French armies having apparently modified the 
respective positions of the enemies. But Lord Castlereagh 
had just arrived and was present at the congress. 
The object of the first pourparlers was the resumption 
of negotiations on the basis of a restitution by France 
of all the territory which she had acquired since 1792, a 
restitution in which the surrender of Antwerp, England's 
sine qua non, was formulated. At the same time the 
allies demanded that certain fortified towns in the 
interior of France should be surrendered to them ; 
they founded their pretensions on the concession made 
by the French plenipotentiary, at the time of the 
suspension of the congress, on February 9th. 

On the 23rd, Prince Wenzel-Lichtenstein brought 
back the Emperor of Austria's answer to Napoleon's 
letter. The terms of this answer were conciliatory. 
Prince Lichtenstein protested that the allies had no 
evil intentions either against the dynasty or against 
the Emperor's person. . Even had this not been the 
case the Emperor of Austria's envoy declared that 
Austria would never lend herself to such manoeuvres, 
that all she sincerely desired was peace. This power 
had, as a matter of fact, very much less interest in a 
continuation of the war than the others. The principal 
object of her ambition was fulfilled, since she recovered 
Italy and her influence in Germany. Prince Lichtenstein 
renewed the proposal of an armistice which, in his 
ardent desire for peace, Napoleon decided to accept. 

The allies, discouraged by a series of defeats, had 
decided upon a retreat which almost became a disaster, 
in proportion as the accumulation of their masses of 


troops in the outlets gave rise to greater encumbrance 
and disorder. A terrible panic seemed to have struck 
Prince Schwarzenberg's great army, the columns of 
which, dragged on by the fugitives and by streams 
of equipages, retrograded with all speed towards the 

Napoleon, having returned to Troyes, made his 
arrangements for manoeuvring on the rear of the army 
commanded by Blucher, who tempted by the numerical 
inferiority of the corps of the Marshals Mortier and 
Marmont was advancing in a foolhardy way upon 
Meaux, whilst Prince Schwarzenberg was continuing 
his retrograde movement. 

Napoleon's letter to his brother Joseph : 

"Troyes, February 24th, 1814, 7 a.m. 
"My Brother, 

" I have entered Troyes. The array of the enemy are 
besieging me with flags of truce to ask me for a suspension 
of arms. A truce will perhaps be negotiated this morning; 
but that can only be on the condition that the Chatillon 
negotiations are pursued on the basis of the Frankfort proposals. 
" The Minister of the Interior is a " funk, " * he has a very 
wild idea about men: neither he, nor the Minister of Police 
have any more notion about France than I have about China. 

" N." 

Letter from King Joseph to the Emperor: 

"Paris, February 25th, 9 p.m. 
" Sire, 

" I have had occasion to see the Ministers to-day in the 
council which was held by the Empress. I spoke to them of 
Your Majesty's successes and of your hopes. The Minister 

* " Un trembleur " in the original. — R. H. s. 


of the Interior is working hard on the lines marked out by 
you. A council will be held to-morrow. 

" M. de Montalivet is very zealous in your Majesty's service. 

« T » 

The Emperor flattered himself or pretended to flatter 
himself that the resumption of negotiations would have 
a successful issue. He wrote from Troyes, on Febru- 
ary 26th, at six in the evening: 

" In the meanwhile the congress is in our hands ; which 
proves that all the enemy's calculations have been upset. 
Lord Castlereagh -has asked if his person will be in safety, 
in view of the fact that he has no official position as ambas- 
sador. That of course cannot be questioned. Anybody 
touching the congress, either directly or indirectly, is under 
the protection of international law. 


The demand for an armistice had been made at a 
time when the Emperor's rapid movements and his 
unexpected successes had filled the allies with discour- 
agement. Having got over this first impression, and 
the Russian and English plenipotentiaries predominat- 
ing at the congress, they broke off the conferences at 
Lusigny under the pretext that Napoleon was mixing 
up with the military question points of discussion which 
were within the scope of the Chatillon congress. These 
conferences had not lasted more than four days. 

In the meanwhile the only retreat open to the 
Silesian army, under the command of Blucher, was by 
Soissons. The French army occupied the roads by 
which the Prussian general was forced to pass. If 
Blucher did not succeed in forcing his way through 
Soissons, his position, driven as he was into a corner 
against the Aisne river, would become extremely 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 175 

critical. Soissons had been put into a good state of 
defence and was provided with a garrison of 1500 
men, but the incapacity of the general in command 
threw it into the hands of the enemy. Not understanding 
the importance of the fortress which he was charged 
to defend, he capitulated on the morrow of the day 
on which the enemy presented itself before Soissons, 
satisfied with obtaining that his garrison should not 
be taken prisoners of war. It was in this wise that 
Blucher in the night of March 3rd, was able to cross 
the river with the- whole of his army, and join 
forces which brought the total number of the soldiers 
with whom we had to fight to one hundred thousand. 

The unexpected surrender of Soissons upset the 
Emperor's plans and had a fatal influence on the issue 
of the campaign. This success raised the courage of 
the allies, who re-assured by their immense numerical 
superiority passed from a state of depression to one 
of exceeding confidence. Their shame at flight, the 
dangers to which numerous armies marching with 
their sovereigns at their head, across a country in a 
state of insurrection and ready to bar the way of their 
return to the Rhine, without stores and without 
ammunition, other than those in the train of the 
regiments, and finally the encouragement which they 
received from Paris, determined them to cease their 
retrograde movement. They had succeeded in duping 
their adversary with sham negotiations and in winning 

The allies far from reducing their pretensions, had 
accordingly come to the opinion that they would 
have every advantage in persisting in their claims. 
They saw that the successes obtained by Napoleon, 

I 76 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

which were owing to the heroism of a handful of 
heroes who were not supported, cost the victor dearly, 
and that these successes themselves served but to 
weaken him. The four great powers signed a treaty 
at Chaumont on March 1st, by which they allied 
themselves still closer. They engaged in consequence 
to act on the offensive and not to treat separately. 
They invited the other powers to join them and 
exerted extraordinary efforts to realize their object, 
which was to overthrow the Emperor. England 
furnished fresh subsidies. 

On March 2nd, King Joseph received the following 
letter from the Emperor: 

"Jouarre, March 2nd, 18 14. 
"My Brother, 

" I desire you on receiving this letter to assemble under 
the presidency of the Regent, the great dignitaries, my ministers 
and the presidents of the Council of State, and to read 
to them, the note containing the proposals of the allies, 
my letter to the Emperor of Austria, Prince Schwarzenberg's 
despatch to the major-general, and the draft of the note which 
I have just dictated to be handed by the Due de Vicence 
to the Congress: in one word, all the papers which explain 
the state of affairs. The Due de Cadore will record what 
each one says. I do not want formal opinions, but I shall 
be glad to know each person's way of thinking." 

King Joseph answered this letter as follows: — 

"Paris, March 4th, 1814. 
" Sire, 

" The Empress held the extraordinary council, which 
Your Majesty commanded, to-day. I ordered the papers which 
had been sent to me to be read. All the members of this 
COUQCil seem to share the same opinion. They found the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon 1/ 177 

enemies' proposals very unjust, and they showed absolute 
confidence in whatever Your Majesty might order to your 
plenipotentiaries, so that France might enter into immediate 
enjoyment of the immense sacrifices which are demanded of 
you, and which we well know will only be granted by Your 
Majesty in the last extremity. You, better than anybody 
else are judge of that. But, with fairly general unanimity, we 
are united in thinking the necessity of seeing France reduced 
to the territory which she possessed in 1792 should be 
accepted rather than to allow the capital to be threatened. 
The occupation of the capital is looked upon as the end of 
the present order, and the commencement of great misfor- 
tunes. Europe, entirely united, wishes to reduce France to 
what she was in 1792. Let this be the basis of a treaty which ■ 
is imposed upon us by circumstances, but let the territory be 
immediately evacuated. In one word, prompt peace, no 
matter what it may be, is indispensable. It will be a truce 
for two or three years; but good or bad, peace must be made. 
The Emperor will make it as little unfavourable as possible. 
In the present state of things it will always be an advantage, 
since it will allow the Emperor to occupy himself exclu- 
sively with home affairs, and that by good management he will 
be in a state to take back what has been unjustly demanded 
of him and which he has wisely accorded. The natural 
frontiers would be a real benefit for France and for Europe ; 
they would give the hope of long peace, but nobody is forced 
to do what is impossible. Peace is indispensable to-day, 
this peace could cease on the day when France would be 
in a position to demand her rights. Conclude then a truce 
in petto since the injustice of our enemies will not allow you 
to conclude a just peace, and when the state of things and 
of public opinion does not allow you to hope from France 
efforts proportionate to the object which has to be attained. 
The Emperor of Austria's letter was found full of nobility 
and good sense. You will remain to France and France 
will remain to you as she was in the days when she filled 


Europe with amazement, and you who saved her once will do so 
a second time by signing peace to-day, and by saving yourself 
with her. Be acknowledged by England, deliver France 
from the Cossacks and the Prussians, and France will render 
to you one day in blessings that which superficial minds 
might think you have lost in glory. I notice that I am 
indulging in too much verbiage. Whether Your Majesty 
has gained a victory or not you must have peace. This 
sums up what everybody here thinks and says. 

U T » 

The Privy Council indeed was unanimously of 
opinion that peace was the first need of France. The 
condition however of having to give up, by the occupa- 
tion of Besancon and our principal fortresses, the 
key of our frontiers caused some to hesitate. Amongst 
those who were consulted I may mention M. de Cessac 
and General Dejean, first inspector of engineers, as 
having shown the most firmness on this solemn occa- 
sion. General Dejean was a noble character, and it is 
known with what generous indignation he combated in 
18 15 resolutions tending to submit to laws imposed 
by the foreigners. * Napoleon had had occasion in 18 10 
to give this general publicly a high proof of his esteem. 

On March gth, King Joseph congratulated the Emperor 
on the victory of Craonne, and pressed him in a most 
eloquent manner to take advantage of this success 
and to conclude peace. But the victory of Craonne was 

♦General Dejean was born at Amiens in 1 780 and became a general 
of brigade at 30 years of a^c. lie took an active part in the battles 
of Ligny and Waterloo, was exiled by the Bourbons from 18 15 to 
1 8 1 8, but took service again in 1830. Besides his services, rendered 
in time "l war, he held a foremost position amongst entomologists. He 
published several works on insects, including a catalogue of ln-> own 
collection, These works comprise: "Species General des Colioptercs" 
1 .s 25 ■ — 1839, 7 vols. ; "Iconograpku ct histoire naturelle des c 'oUopteres 
d' Europe" [829. k. h. s. 


balanced by the issue of the battle of Laon, in which 
the Emperor had to fight against an army which was 
five times stronger than his own. Napoleon was forced 
to retreat, to avoid being surrounded by forces so 
vastly superior. He wrote as follows to King Joseph: 

"Chavignon, March nth, 18 14. 
"My Brother, 

"I have examined the enemies' position. It was too 
strong to be attacked without incurring great loss. I have 
accordingly made up my mind to return to Soissons. It was 
probable that the enemy would have evacuated Laon, for fear 
of being attacked there, but for the skirmish of the Due de 
Raguse, who behaved like a sub -lieutenant. The enemy expe- 
rienced enormous losses when attacking the village of Clacy, 
five times yesterday, and was always repulsed. The young 
guard melts away like snow,* the old guard keeps firm. My 
mounted guards are also greatly diminished. It is indispens- 
able that General Ornano should take every means to re- 
mount all the dragoons and chasseurs, beginning with the 
veterans. Orders must be given for redouts to be con- 
structed at Montmartre. 


Another letter from Napoleon: — 

"Soissons, March 13th, 1814. 
" My Brother, 

" Before beginning the works for the fortification of Paris 
the plan of these works must be known. The one which 
was presented to me seems very complicated. What one 
wants is something very simple. On every side of me I 
receive complaints of the people against the mayors and 
leading citizens, who prevent them from defending themselves. 

* Napoleon's indifference for the lives of his soldiers was supreme. 
" What do I care for two hundred thousand men ? " he exclaimed in 
the course of his famous interview with Metternich in Dresden. — r. h. s. 

I see the same state of things in Paris. The people has 
energy and honour. I very much fear there are certain 
leaders who don't want to fight, and who will be very 
much dazed after the event at what they have brought 
upon themselves." 


Another letter from Napoleon: — 

"Rheims, March 14th, 18 14. 
"My Brother, 

" I arrived yesterday at Rheims which was occupied 
by the General in Chief, St. Priest, with three Russian divisions 
and a new Prussian division which came from the blockade 
of Stettin. I defeated him, recaptured the city, 20 pieces 
of cannon, a quantity of baggage, and caissons, and made 5000 
prisoners. General St. Priest was mortally wounded and has 
been amputated at the thigh. The thing to be noticed is 
that St. Priest was wounded by the same gunner who killed 
General Moreau.* One may exclaim : ' O Providence ! ' 


Another extract from a letter from the Emperor, 
dated at: — 

"Epernay, March 17th, 1814. 
" I am expecting great results in my movement which will 
throw great disorder and great confusion on the rear of my 
enemy, and its headquarters if it be still at Troves. The 
couriers must be sent to me by Ferte-sous-Jourre, and thence 
to Arcis-sur-Aube by way of Epernay and Montmirail. You 
must tell the ministers of war and of police not to say any- 
thing which is not necessary, and to write anything of import- 
ance in cipher until my communications by way of Nogent have 
been established. Send officers to Soissons, to Compiegne, 

*This does away with the Dresden legend that it was Napoleon 
himself who sighted the cannon which killed Moreau. k. a. s. 


to Rheims, and to Epernay. I have given orders for a division 
of 12,000 men whom I am bringing from Metz to proceed to 
Chalons. I do not know whether this order will reach its 
destination. It would be a great piece of good fortune. 


Another letter from Napoleon: — 

"Epernay, March 18th, 1814. 
"My Brother, 

" The whole army is in movement, to pass the night 
beyond Fere-Champenoise and thence to proceed in the direc- 
tion of Arcis-sur-Aube, and the enemies' bridges. I am in 
communication with our garrisons of Verdun and Metz. I 
am expecting a division of 12,000 men whom I am with- 
drawing from these forts. It appears that the enemy has left 
Noyon which clears the ground round Compiegne. The 

conduct of this commune was perfect." 

« N> » 

The success over General Saint-Priest, the occupation 
of Rheims, Napoleon's presence in this city and in 
Epernay had surprised the allies in the midst of their 
movement, and had thrown them back into a state of 
indecision which was revealed by a general retreat of 
their troops. The army of the enemy fell back upon 
Troyes preceded by its baggage. Paris seemed threatened 
no longer. The Emperor Alexander sent word, it is 
stated, to Prince Schwarzenberg in the middle of the 
night, that he wished a courier to be sent off immediately 
to Chatillon, with orders to sign peace on the conditions 
asked for by the French negotiator. The Emperor of 
Austria had fled in the direction of Dijon, with a single 
officer and a valet-de-chambre, to place himself in safety. 
M. de Metternich succeeded in joining him there with 
some secretaries. They remained there without com- 


munications from the outside for a period of thirty hours. 

On the eve of evacuating Troyes to continue his 
retreat, the Emperor Alexander, recovering from his panic, 
convoked a council of war. At this council he declared 
with emphasis that he was tired of fleeing before a 
handful of men, with such formidable armies as were 
under his command, and that the only means of dictat- 
ing peace was to march with all the forces of the 
coalition on Paris. Having countermanded the retreat, 
the concentration of the two great allied armies was 
decided upon, and a meeting fixed in the plains of 
Chalons. The allied forces looked for safety not 
only in the inertia of a part of the nation, which was 
being worked upon with magnificent promises with 
the object of detaching it from Napoleon, but further 
in the prayers and encouragements of the Royalist 
committees in Paris, whose communications with the 
congress of Chatillon had remained permanent. Prince 
de Benevent, bound by secret relations with influential 
persons in the foreign cabinets and courts, was in 
correspondence with the ministers present at the con- 
gress ; making ready to profit by events whatever they 
might be, and redoubling the activity of his intrigues 
both in Paris and abroad. 

Due Dalberg, whom the Emperor had naturalized a 
Frenchman but whose heart he had been unable to 
change, whom he had loaded with kindness, whom he 
had created a duke and endowed with two hundred 
thousand francs a year, the relation and friend of 
Nesselrode and Stadion, the ministers, seconded Prince 
de Benevent, with all the zeal which his deep ingrati- 
tude could inspire him with. Every day at the 
Council of State, where he had been placed in the 


section of home affairs to which I belonged, as there 
was no section of exterior relations, he used to bring 
us desperate tidings ; his language was that of a man 
who was initiated in the plans of the allied forces. 
Thus when an immense array of hostile forces, seconded 
by the perfidy of foreign diplomacy, was rendering the 
glorious efforts of Napoleon and of his army of no 
avail, treachery at home was noiselessly consummated 
within the ruin of the imperial edifice. 

Simultaneously with their decision of uniting their 
forces and of marching in one body upon Paris, the 
allies abandoned their empty show of negotiations. 
They declared that the congress of Chatillon was 
closed, taking as a pretext that the French plenipoten- 
tiaries based themselves on certain apparent successes 
of the French army to go back on arrangements which 
they themselves had proposed. The representatives of 
the allied powers alleged that there was no possibility 
of coming to an understanding and imputed the rupture 
of the negotiations to France. In vain did the Due 
de Vicence ask for twenty-four hours grace in which 
to receive the instructions which he was expecting, 
instructions which were to authorize him to make what 
concessions were deemed possible and to discuss further 
concessions; the ministers of the coalition persisted in 
considering the negotiations as at an end. They 
withdrew declaring the congress dissolved, on their 
own authority, in spite of all the protestations of the 
French plenipotentiaries. At Chatillon, as at Prague, 
every way was blocked to freedom of discussion, and 
that in despite of diplomatic usages and the consideration 
with which civilized states treat each other. The 
courier who carried the despatches from the Emperor 


to his envoy to the congress, met the Due de 
Vicence on the road, on his way back to headquarters. 
The latter stopped to write to Metternich that he 
regretted the brusque breaking-off of the negotiations 
all the more because he had received certain despatches 
which put him in a position to smooth over many 
difficulties : a final and useless step, which only proved 
more clearly how great was our distress and how im- 
placable the ill-will of our enemies. 

Joseph Bonaparte had thought of the means of 
detaching the Prince Royal of Sweden (Bernadotte) 
from the coalition before the Emperor had told him to 
attempt to do so. Joseph, Bernadotte's brother-in-law, 
as is known, retained the feeble hope, that after having 
betrayed his country and having handed it over to the 
vengeance of the enemy, this erring son, might, as he 
set foot upon his native soil, feel some remorse. He 
thought that the remembrance of their family alliance 
might contribute to arouse some generous feelings in 
the heart of an old French soldier who had risen to 
become a French marshal. King Joseph accordingly 
sent off Doctor Franzenberg, to his brother-in-law, by 
the agency of Chiappe, a former conventionncl, a mutual 
friend of the two families, and he succeeded in reach- 
ing the Swedish headquarters. This step remained 
without result, Bernadotte alleging that it was too 
late. He had engaged himself still further with the 
coalition, and had rendered them fresh services for 
which he expected his reward. It appears certain that 
he had been duped with the hope of succeeding the 
Emperor Napoleon on the throne of France. M. de 
Langeron, an nnigrd in the command of a Russian 


army corps, declared that he transmitted to the Emperor 
of Russia intercepted letters which inspired the allies 
with the fear of seeing Bernadotte lend his ear to 
overtures coming from Paris, a discovery which had 
induced the Emperor Alexander to lavish fresh promises 
and fresh flatteries upon Bernadotte. From that time 
forward the fatal ambition of the ex-marshal of the 
Empire knew no limits ; rendering him deaf to the 
promptings of honour and of duty. The Emperor had 
written to King Joseph from Troyes, on February 25th, 
as follows : 

" It is said that the Prince Royal of Sweden is at Cologne. 
Could you not, on your own initiative, send somebody to 
him to make him feel the folly of his conduct and induce 
him to change it? Try it, but without involving me in any 
way. "N." 

The following is the letter in which King Joseph 
informed the Emperor of the steps that had been taken, 
in conformity with the wishes which his brother had 
expressed to him : 

"Paris, March 13th, 1814. 

" Sire, 

"The person whom I sent to the Prince of Sweden 
returned to-day. He left the prince at Liege on the 10th 
instant. If Your Majesty wishes to examine him, you have 
but to give orders to the Prince of Neufchatel for whom I 
will give him a letter. If Your Majesty should not desire 
to see him, he could give military information of some 
importance on the districts which he had just travelled 

"The Prince of Sweden speaks frequently and quite openly 
of the return of the Bourbons. He is temporizing to give 
you time, as he says, to conclude peace, which he desires, 
as he wishes to return home. "J." 

1 86 mkxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Letter from the Emperor to King Joseph : 

" Rheims, March 17th, 1814, noon. 

" My Brother, I have seen the officer attached to the 
Queen, whom you sent me. Amongst good things he tells 
me many which are false. If you can trust him, I think it 
would be important to send him a second time, and to send 
other messengers; would that not give us the advantage of 
learning what is going on in these provinces ? 

"Due de Bassano has written to Count d'Hauterive to 
hand you a copy of the declaration which was made by the 
allies at Chatillon, who wanted, being four, to treat for all 
the other powers. You may communicate this document in 
a confidential manner to the Prince Royal, pressing him to 
make efforts to have a minister at the congress. For after 
all Sweden can have no interest in allowing a quatrumvirate 
to put hands on the whole of Europe. It is for her, as has 
always been the case, to look after her affairs herself. Before 
sending this person, be sure that he is no traitor. 


The Emperor had many reasons for being suspicious. 
But King Joseph's envoy was a loyal man, a good 
Frenchman who had fulfilled his mission with zeal and 
fidelity. These communications had no further result 
and remained fruitless. 

The Emperor excited the spirit of resistance in the 
hearts of the French against these hordes of barbarians 
which the allies vomited forth on to the centre of 
civilization, and who committed atrocities surpassing 
all that can be imagined. He endeavoured to keep 
men's courage alive by the display of trophies wrested 
from the enemy. On February 27th the Minister of 
the Interior had presented the Empress with ten Russian, 
Prussian, and Austrian flags taken at the battles of 


Montmirail and Vauxchamps, and at the encounter at 
Montereau. These flags, carried by officers of the 
imperial guard and the national guard, had been brought 
to Paris by Baron, to-day Duke, de Mortemart, the 
Emperor's orderly officer. — The papers were filled with 
reports made by the auditors who had been commis- 
sioned to establish and put on record the cruelties and 
vexations committed by the allies at every place which 
they had occupied, in spite of the presence of their 
sovereigns. The Paris municipal council received depu- 
tations from the towns in Champagne and Burgundy, 
who related the misfortunes which these provinces had 
had to suffer by the foreign occupation. But so great 
was the weariness with war that these reports did not 
produce the indignation which might have been expected. 
At the same time Dupaty's rondos, with the choruses 
of "Let us guard her well" and "He has gone" were 
being sung in all the theatres. 

In spite of all Paris was rilled with alarm. The two 
letters following from the Empress describe the feelings 
which agitated the population of Paris sufficiently 
clearly. On February 12th Marie Louise wrote to me: 

" Good news. The Emperor has destroyed York's corps 
and has taken his material: the rest has got stuck in the 
cross-roads. The Emperor was to sleep at la Ferte-sous- 
Jouarre and was in good health. This is what M. Anatole 
reports to the Archchancelior at half-past three. I hasten 
to acquaint you of it and beg you to believe in the sentiments 
of esteem of your very well-affected. 


On March 27th, she wrote to me: 

" I send you back the letter which you lent me this morning, 
and add to it two petitions which I beg you to send to the 


Ministers, adding that I interest myself in the.m. It appears 
that our affairs are going so badly on the Due de Raguse's 
side that we may very easily receive visitors here very 
shortly. What a terrible prospect! 

" Louise. " 

The Emperor in manoeuvring on the flank of the 
enemy, fell in with Schwarzenberg's army, which was 
operating a new movement on this side, at Arcis-sur- 
Aube. After having fought all day against overwhelm- 
ing masses, after having personally incurred the great- 
est dangers, and having obstinately sought after death 
which refused to take him, Napoleon recrossed the 
Aube in the night. He arrived at Saint-Dizier on the 
23rd, where he found the Due de Vicence, who had 
returned from Chatillon which he had left on March 
20th after the rupture of the congress. 

In the critical situation in which he found himself, 
Napoleon thought of putting into execution the project of 
which he had spoken to his brother, in his letters of March 
2nd and 4th: namely of stopping the enemies' march 
upon Paris by manoeuvring on their rear, a movement 
which was to allow him to rally the garrisons of the 
fortresses in Alsace and Lorraine, to organize a formid- 
able insurrection and thus to cut off the communi- 
cations of the allied armies. Before taking this 
resolution, which presented some chances of success, 
and which might if carried out effectually save France, 
the Emperor wished to procure certain information on 
the real movement effected by the enemies. With this 
object in view he sent out strong reconnoitring parties 
to the lines of operation, and established himself at 
Doulevent where he spent the 25th awaiting the result 
of these reconnoitrings. There Napoleon was able to 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 189 

convince himself how well his apprehensions had been 
founded; Schwarzenberg and Bliicher's immense forces 
had effected a junction. The Emperor learned that 
new and pressing advices from the royalists had 
emboldened the allies, and dissipated their hesitations ; 
and that their armies, taking once more to the road to 
Paris which they had abandoned, were now in full march 
upon the capital. 

Having heard this news, Napoleon returned to Saint- 
Dizier where he spent the night in thinking over the 
advantages of his plan and the disadvantage of expos- 
ing Paris, which it was his so anxious desire not to 
leave to the enemy. The discouragement of the leaders 
of his army, which had reached the point of disor- 
ganisation, the fear of not being seconded or of being 
badly seconded, the importunities of those who sur- 
rounded him, importunities which under different cir- 
cumstances he would not have tolerated, the news he 
had of the audacity of the counter-revolutionaries and 
the lukewarm state of public opinion in Paris, the 
responsibility of the disasters with which the capital 
was threatened, so many considerations taken together 
troubled this mind, generally so firm. A secret advice, 
transmitted by a sure and loyal man, Count Lavalette, 
informing the Emperor of the secret intrigues of the 
royalists and of their communications with the enemy, 
confirmed Napoleon in his resolution to return at full 
speed to the rescue of Paris. 

Before leaving Saint-Dizier, the Emperor charged 
M. de Wessemberg, the Austrian envoy in London, 
with a confidential letter to the Emperor of Austria. 
M. de Wessemberg had been arrested in company 
with several civil and military officers belonging to 


the e^imy by some peasants and had been brought 
to the imperial headquarters. M. de Vitrolles, charged 
with a secret mission by the royalists in Paris, happened 
to be amongst them in disguise but was not recog- 
nized. The mission confided to M. de Wessemberg 
remained without result. The envoy alleged that he 
had been prevented from reaching the Emperor of 
Austria, who was sequestrated at Chanceaux, near 

A vexatious occurrence had aggravated our anxie- 
ties at the Tuileries. The Emperor had written to 
the Empress of his manoeuvre in the direction of 
Saint-Dizier, a manoeuvre the object of which was to 
check the enemy's march upon Paris and to force it 
to a retrograde movement. Unfortunately this letter 
fell into the hands of the Prussians. It informed the 
enemy of the Emperor's plans, and after reading it the 
Prussians sent it on to the Empress with every mark 
of respect. The Empress thought it right to keep 
this disturbing communication secret, but considered it 
full of dire forebodings. 

The vague rumours of the disgust with war which 
reigned in the French camp and which was said to 
have reached the pitch of insubordination, which came 
to our ears at about the same time, were another 
cause of alarm. 

Whilst the women of the royalist party, in the hope 
of a return of the ancient dynasty, were busying them- 
selves in the most private rooms in their houses in 
making white cockades, the Empress Marie Louise 
and the Ladies of her court, like the queens and ladies 
of the Middle Ages, assembled in a large drawing- 
room in the palace, prepared lint for the wounded. 


A hidden fermentation reigned amongst the corpora- 
tions of State. Indirect insinuations, which were soon 
followed by more transparent actions, produced them- 
selves with the object of removing Napoleon from 
power, and of inducing him to abdicate in favour of 
his son. A member of the Senate went so far as to 
sound several of his colleagues, amongst others Count 
de Segur, who consented to keep the matter secret, 
on the advisability of inducing a belief in the Emperor's 
insanity with a view to his suspension. Other intrigues 
had as a purpose to make use of the foreigners with a 
view to restoring the Bourbons. The ungrateful Due 
Dalberg did not disguise this guilty hope in the very 
Council of State, where, as I have recorded, he had 
been placed in extraordinary service. 

M. de Talleyrand concealed under the mask of his 
customary indolence, and under a language which was 
full of feigned patriotism, the activity of his communica- 
tions with the enemies at home and abroad. But he 
took good care, as he always did, not to show himself 
in anything and to write nothing which might compromise 
him. Napoleon was not in ignorance of the fact that 
his enemies at home and abroad were planning to 
make use of the Senate to proclaim Napoleon II., and 
that the allies hoped to excite civil war in France by 
separating the Emperor from his son and family ; events 
justify this supposition. Without thinking that the 
Bourbons had much chance of success, Napoleon knew 
that the ringleaders, except those of the Mortfontaine 
committee, who possessed but little influence, had no 
other object than to force him to surrender his crown 
to his son. King Joseph had been sounded on this 
point by some senators; the general-lieutenantship of 


the empire under the Emperor's minority, had been 
offered to him. The loyalty of Napoleon's brother 
n \« >lted at the thought. Disturbed by this inner danger 
he desired that peace should be concluded at no matter 
what cost. At the end of some work which had been 
done at the Empress's, King Joseph and the Arch- 
chancellor suggested to me that I should express this 
wish to the Emperor. Before taking the step, I asked 
to be allowed to inform him of it, for I had a pre- 
sentiment that it would be very badly received by 
him. As a matter of fact, I received a letter from 
Soissons, written i?i Napoleon's own hand* dated March 
1 2th, at two o'clock in the afternoon, which began 
with the words: 

" I have received your letter; you answered rightly. I shall 
consider the first address presented to me to ask me for 
peace as an act of rebellion. 

44 Napoleon." 

Napoleon saw very well that if peace were 
still possible, nothing would be more likely to delay 
it than a manifestation in its favour on the part of 
the corporations of state, a manifestation by which the 
foreigners would not fail to profit to create the belief 
that there was a misunderstanding between the Emperor 
and the nation. King Joseph had never thought of 
making the communication which he had entrusted to 
the public. His choice of me proved moreover that 
it was to be quite confidential. At the same time the 
Kmpcror had gladly taken advantage of this circum- 
stance to prevent any official application to him in 

*A very rare circumstance. This Letter wa8 concealed in the hollow 
of a key, in Ofdei tO avoid a vexations discovery. 


this direction, in case anybody might have thought ot 
attempting it. 

The presence of the scouts of the allied army 
outside the gates of Paris had driven the inhabitants 
of the surrounding country into the metropolis and 
their furniture, provisions and live stock, encumbered 
the various entrances. Rich families were fleeing in 
the direction of the Loire. A part of the population 
of Paris, impelled by a vague anxiety, wandered about 
the streets, on the squares and boulevards, or hastened 
to the termini of the country roads or to the heights 
around the city. 

During the last days which preceded the entry of 
the allies into Paris, pressed with the anxiety by which 
the minds of all were preyed upon, I used to go very 
frequently to the office of the general director of the 
post-office to learn what news there was of the enemy's 
approach ; the news received from French headquarters 
was rare and not calculated to calm the anxiety. 
Couriers and persons of every condition, fleeing from 
the scene of the war, used to come to the general 
post-office to relate what they had undergone and to 
seek for the means of communicating with the relations 
and friends who had remained behind in the towns 
and country districts which they had just left. I 
frequently met M. de Bourrienne there, who used to 
come with a purpose less innocent than mine, but who 
disguised it under exaggerated demonstrations of zeal 
for the imperial government. He had every reason 
to go away with satisfaction, for the news was far 
from being re-assuring. The enemy did not slacken in 
its onward march. 

The orders which the Emperor had given for the 


defence of Paris had been for the most part carried 
out. The committee of defence had provided for 
matters of detail. The necessity, however, of conferring 
with the Emperor, and various obstacles over which 
his presence and energetic will alone could have 
triumphed, prevented the necessary extension and 
perfection from being given to the various works which 
had been projected. 

Nobody ignored the fact that Napoleon, endowed 
with devouring activity, with a mind rich in resources 
and an ever sustained power of attention, embraced 
in his vast genius all the details of the war at the 
same time as all the branches of his government ; that 
even in the midst of the most active military operations, 
he found time to occupy himself with home affairs ; 
that his orders always reached his ministers in good 
time ; that he kept himself informed on everything, 
that everything was under his control and that he 
thought for everybody. The result was that those 
who acted for him, whose prudence increased in 
proportion to the responsibility which weighed upon 
them, did not dare take any steps on their own 
authority and awaited his orders instead of acting. 
Thus the Emperor's absence in these troubled times, 
paralyzed the zeal which his presence on the contrary 
would have stimulated in the highest degree. 

On March 27 th, King Joseph reviewed the national 
guards, who were incompletely equipped and dressed, 
and the feeble corps of the Paris garrison made up 
of depots of the imperial guard. So scarce were arms 
that part of the national guard had to be armed with 
Lances, which they only used with repugnance. These 
troops inarched past the Empress who was with the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 195 

King of Rome. They were filled with the best 
feelings and full of ardour to defend the capital as 
well as to protect Marie Louise and the young prince. 

The following letter addressed by the Emperor to 
King Joseph determined the latter, some days later, 
to hurry on the departure of the Empress and of 
her son : — 

"Rheims, March 16th, 1814. 

" In conformity with the verbal instructions which I have 
given you and the spirit of all my letters you must not allow 
the Empress and the King of Rome to fall into the hands of 
the enemy, in any case whatever. I am about to man- 
oeuvre in such a manner that it may be some days before 
you receive any news of me. If the enemy advance upon 
Paris with such forces that all resistance is out of the ques- 
tion, send the Empress-Regent, my son, the great dignitaries, 
the ministers, the grand officers of the crown, Baron de la 
Bouillerie and the treasure off in the direction of the Loire. 
Do not leave my son, and remember that I would rather know 
him at the bottom of the Seine than in the hands of the 
enemies of France. The fate of Astyanax, prisoner to the 
Greeks, always seemed to me the saddest fate that history 

"Your affectionate brother, 
" Napoleon." 

When the corps of Marshal Marmont and Marshal 
Mortier, reduced to very small numbers, had been 
driven back on Paris by imposing forces of the enemy 
and the capital was menaced, when this danger had 
been still further aggravated by the Emperor's letter 
to the Empress falling into the hands of the enemy, 
King Joseph considered that the case provided for by 
the Emperor's verbal and written communications in 
such precise and positive terms, had come into existence ; 

ig6 meneyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

and he accordingly showed the letter which he had 
received to the Empress and to Cambaceres. A privy 
council, composed of the great dignitaries, of the 
ministers and the president of the Senate, assembled 
on the evening of March 28th. The Emperor's letter 
was not at first communicated to the council, to form 
the text of its deliberations ; the question whether the 
Empress should remain in Paris with her son, or leave 
it, was alone mooted. The majority of the members 
of the council, Count Boulay de la Meurthe amongst 
others, were of opinion that the Empress ought not 
to leave, that her presence would re-assure the capital, 
and would impose respect upon the invaders. M. Boulay 
expressed this opinion and argued with much energy 
in support thereof. He even proposed that the 
Empress should go to the Town-Hall and show her- 
self to the people of Paris, holding her son in her 
arms like another Maria Theresa. But the resolution 
of remaining in Paris was contrary to the wishes 
expressed by the Emperor, and the responsibility of 
the council risked being seriously involved if the 
majority of its members pronounced themselves in 
favour of an opposite decision. The government of 
the Regency then produced the Emperor's letter of 
March 16th. It put an end to all discussion and 
determined the departure, only Joseph explained that 
it was necessary to be informed of the real strength 
of the enemy's army, which was following the troops 
of Marshals Marmont and Morticr, and offered to 
remain behind in Paris with the Ministers of War, of 
the War Administration and of Marine. It was agreed 
that the decision of the council should be published, 
that the enemy's forces should^ be reconnoitred, and 


that in case they were so great that all resistance was 
out of the question, King Joseph and the three 
ministers should follow the government to the Loire. 
A proclamation which was posted on the walls, appeared 
after the departure of the Empress and of her son to 
temper the discouragement of the inhabitants. The 
Minister of War, questioned during the council on the 
number of guns which he could dispose of in case of 
need, had answered that only very few were in a state 
of repair, because the guns which were fit for use were 
distributed daily amongst the conscripts on their way 
to the army. 

At the end of the sitting of the council, which lasted 
past midnight, King Joseph and the Archchancellor 
followed the Empress to her rooms ; I was present 
also. After having exchanged some words on the 
disastrous consequences which might result from aban- 
doning Paris, King Joseph and the Archchancellor 
ventured to tell the Empress that she alone was in a 
position to decide what steps should be taken in such 
a grave state of affairs. The Empress answered them 
that they were both her forced councillors, and that 
she could not take it upon herself to give an order 
contrary to the Emperor's, confirmed by the delibera- 
tions of the privy council, without first having ob- 
tained their formal advice in a signed document. Both 
refused to assume this responsibility. 

Now that the past can be examined in cold blood, 
has one the right to blame this conduct? If honour 
and loyalty be not empty words, were Joseph and 
Cambaceres allowed to sacrifice the man who had 
given them his confidence and to treat with his enemy 
in his absence? If they had consented to sanction 


Napoleon's deposition, for to disobey his orders was 
to provoke it, they could no doubt obtain for the Empress 
the acknowledgment of her son, King Joseph the 
general-lieutenantship of the empire, and the Arch- 
chancellor the preservation of his dignities .... but at 
what a price ! 

The conversation was brought to a close by a decla- 
ration on the part of the Empress that were she to 
fall into the Seine with her son, as the Emperor had 
said, she would not hesitate one moment about leaving. 
A wish so formally expressed as that of her husband 
was a sacred command to her. 

Napoleon has since complained that his order was 
too strictly interpreted ; he has said that the execution 
of this order was subordinated to circumstances, which 
had changed since the day on which he had given it. 
There can be no doubt that the Empress's presence in 
Paris might have checkmated guilty manoeuvres and have 
given Napoleon time to arrive to the rescue of his 
capital by preceding the enemy there. The privy 
council had felt this ; the Empress and her councillors 
understood it, but who would have dared to disobey the 
formal instructions which we have recorded? Moreover 
the subsequent letters of the Emperor, during the 
fortnight which had elapsed between the time when 
they were given and the day on which they were 
carried out, had neither cancelled nor modified these 

The treasure and the most valuable things were 
loaded upon vans which were to follow the Empress's 
escort. I sent for the archivist attached to the Emperor's 
cabinet and named to him, according to instructions 
which I had received, the most important papers which 


Napoleon had not taken away with him, so that they 
might be burned. This order was only partially carried 
out, and the government of the Restoration found a 
sufficiently large number of papers which ought to 
have been destroyed. I carried away with me family 
papers and letters to preserve them until they 
were in danger of being taken, in which case I was 
to destroy them. I then withdrew to my dwelling, 
where I made my arrangements for following the Empress 
with my family on the following day. It had been 
agreed that King Joseph should proceed to the outposts 
to acquaint himself personally with the situation of the 
Marshals Marmont and Mortier, and that the Empress 
should await his return before taking her departure. 

The departure had been fixed for the morrow, 
March 29th, at eight o'clock in the morning. The 
carriages with the horses put to were waiting in the 
Carrousel courtyard. The Empress, dressed and ready 
to go, had been in her apartments with her son and 
the ladies in waiting, since seven in the morning. 
Distracted and with her mind full of sorrowful pre- 
sentiments, she evaded the questions of her son, whose 
happy carelessness was disturbed by this unusual 
movement. Already at break of day the drawing-rooms 
had filled with the people who had been appointed to 
follow the sovereign. A painful silence had succeeded 
the noisy conversations which had at first been exchanged 
on the subject of what was the object of general 
solicitude, but the anxiety was none the less great. 
A sudden noise, the opening of a door, was sufficient 
to agitate everybody present. We were expecting to 
see King Joseph, who had proceeded to the gates of 
Paris before daybreak, or at least somebody sent by 


him. Suddenly the officers of the national guard on 
service at the Tuileries, together with other officers 
entered precipitously, and gaining access to the 
Empress implored her not to leave Paris, and promised 
to defend her. Marie Louise, touched to tears by their 
devotion, told them of the Emperor's orders. She 
however delayed her departure, hour by hour, and 
sought to gain time, feeling that her departure would 
be a public disaster ; she hoped without daring to admit 
it that some fortuitous occurrence would prevent it. 
Clarke, the Minister of War, who the previous evening 
had insisted on the necessity of the Empress's departure, 
had sent an officer in the morning to point out to the 
Empress how urgent it was that she should start. 
Pressed by some to hasten away, and by others on 
the contrary to remain, Marie Louise was a prey to 
extreme agitation. She once re-entered her bedroom, 
threw her hat on the bed in a temper, and sat down 
on an easy-chair. There, resting her head on her 
hands, she began to cry. In the midst of her complaints 
broken with tears, she was heard to repeat with 
impatience: "My God, let them make up their minds 
and put an end to this agony/ At last towards ten 
o'clock, the Minister of War sent word to her that 
there was not a moment to lose, and that if she tarried 
any longer she would expose herself to falling into 
the hands of the Cossacks. 

The Empress, receiving no message from King Joseph, 
then decided to leave. When the time had come to 
enter the carriages, the young King of Rome refused 
to leave his apartment. The poor child seemed to 
guess what the future reserved for him. "Don't go 
to Rambouillct," he cried out to his mother, "it's a 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 20 1 

nasty palace; let us stop here!" He struggled in the 
arms of M. de Canisy, the equerry who was carrying 
him, saying: "I don't want to leave my house "'—such 
was the expression that he kept repeating — "I don't 
want to go away, since papa is absent it is I who am 
the master." He clung to the doors and to the bal- 
ustrade on the staircase. This obstinacy on his part 
excited a painful astonishment in the minds of all who 
witnessed this sorrowful scene, and awoke I know not 
what sad and gloomy presentiments. 

The carriages drove out slowly, and as though a 
counter-order was hoped for, by the Pont-Royal gate. 
Ten heavy green berlines, with the imperial arms 
painted on the panels of the doors, a crowd of car- 
riages, baggages and vans formed a line which stretched 
right across the courtyard. Sixty or eighty sightseers 
contemplated this sorrowful procession in gloomy silence, 
as though they had been looking at a funeral procession; 
they were indeed present at the funeral of the Empire. 
Their feelings were manifested in no way; not a voice 
raised itself to salute with an expression of regret 
the bitterness of this cruel separation. If somebody had 
had the inspiration to cut the traces of the carriages, 
the Empress would not have left, she passed out through 
the gateway of the Tuileries courtyard, with tears in 
her eyes and death in her soul. On arriving at the 
Champs-Elysees, she saluted the Imperial city which 
she was leaving behind for a last time and bade it 
farewell for ever. 

The danger which threatened the capital had aroused 
great agitation in Paris. The general alarm had been 
beaten all night, the national guard was assembling at full 


speed. Some battalions of volunteers, with some artil- 
lery served by the brave scholars of the Polytechnic 
School, who paid their debt to the country before their 
time, marched out to support the corps of Marshals 
Dukes de Raguse and de Trevise. Others collected 
at the barriers of Paris to defend the entrance to the 
city. All emulated in zeal, and harmed the enemy 
sufficiently to oblige it to call up its reserve forces. 
The population of the faubourg was filled with ardour 
and clamoured for arms, but arms and ammunition 
were alike wanting. The news of the transfer of the 
government of the Regency to the provinces took 
Paris by surprise in the midst of this agitation. The 
hatred of the foreigners and the imminence of the 
danger to which the city was exposed prevented the 
disorders which the absence of the government and of 
all force able to repress them would have occasioned. 
On March 29th, at daybreak, a regiment of the 
Prussian vanguard, the scouts of Europe under arms, 
appeared under the walls of the capital of France, 
which a handful of its brave children attempted though 
in vain to defend against too numerous enemies. The 
Emperor and the bulk of his army were far away; 
no news had been received of them since nine days. 
The city of Paris would have needed on such a day 
a Camillus or the heroism of a Senate, like the Senate 
whose majesty Brennus, long ago was able to contem- 
plate in the Capitol. 

Tn the meanwhile King Joseph was with the Minis- 
ters of War, of the Administration of War and of 
Marine, outside the barriers; it was there that they 
learned from the engineer of the Paris fire-brigade who 


had been made a prisoner in the morning, that almost 
the entire allied forces were under the walls of Paris. 
This officer, after having been conducted before the 
Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia and Prince 
Schwarzenberg had been sent back to the outposts; 
he had reported what he had seen to Marshal Marmont, 
who had sent him on to King Joseph. 

It was not long moreover before the Due de Raguse 
warned the prince of the danger of his position, which 
would not allow him to resist more than a few hours ; 
he asked to be allowed to conclude an arrangement 
with the enemy, the French troops not being in a 
position to prevent the occupation by force, an occu- 
pation with which Paris was perhaps menaced during 
the night. King Joseph and the ministers recognized 
that resistance was impossible and that Paris was 
exposed to be carried, so to speak, by storm. General 
Hullin was sent to Marshal Marmont with authority 
to treat, for the urgency of the matter began to be 
felt. Indeed the columns of the enemy were already 
appearing in the plain and began to overwhelm the 
feeble forces of the two marshals; they were man- 
oeuvring in the direction of St. Denis, approaching the 
bridges of which they took possession, only a few 
minutes after King Joseph and the Ministers had crossed 
them. The latter had nothing left for them to do than 
to follow the Empress and the Regency council in 
conformity with their instructions. 

King Joseph had promised the citizens of Paris to 
remain with them. He had kept his promise. His 
place was not within the city walls, but at the gates 
where the danger lay. Whilst there was the faintest 
hope of defending Paris he did not give up the struggle. 


When after a heroic resistance Marshals Mortier and 
Marmont declared that they could hold out no longer 
it became the King's duty to save the capital from the 
horrors of an occupation by force; he authorized the 
Marshals to treat. His presence in Paris could be of 
no use whatever after the departure of the Empress 
and the King of Rome. He had done to prevent this 
departure what his conscience and his honour allowed 
him to do; he had shown himself a good citizen as 
well as the Emperor's devoted brother. If King Joseph 
had remained any longer in Paris what just reproaches 
would he not have merited from his contemporaries 
and from history ! He would have remained there, but 
to become in the hands of the allied powers, the 
instrument of his brother's dethronement, an odious role 
which he could not have escaped, and which would have 
been imposed upon him by his desire to defend the 
interests of his nephew. 

In one word, as long as Joseph Bonaparte preserved 
the hope of being of any use, he remained; when this 
hope vanished, he departed, but he departed the last 
of all. 


The Empress's Journey — Her Suite — Fruitless Attempt on the Part of 
Marshal Mortier to Obtain a Suspension of Arms — Prince de Benevent Re- 
mains in Paris — His Foresight — Arrival of the Empress at Blois — The 
Entrance of the Allied Sovereigns into Paris — The Emperor Alexander at 
Talleyrand's Mansion — Declaration of a Refusal to Treat with Napoieon 
and his Family — The Paris Municipal Council and Certain Royalists Ask 
for their Former Masters Back Again — General Beurnonville — Formation of 
a Provisional Government — Abbe de Montesquiou — The Senate Votes the 
Emperor's Dethronement — Order of the Day of April 4th — Adherence of 
the Legislative Body — Overflow of Calumnies and Libels — Examination of 
the Various Causes which Raised up Enemies Against Napoleon — Desertion 
of the Due de Raguse — The Emperor's Plenipotentiaries — Retrospective 
Glance on the French Princes — Subornations Practised on Certain Generals 
and Civilians — The Duchess de Guiche — Proscription of the National 
Colours — The Emperor at Fontainebleau — His Abdication — His Munificence 
Towards His Comrades-in-Arms — Correspondence Between the Emperor 
and the Empress — The Empress's Anxiety — Successive Missions of the Due 
de Cadore, Count Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely, M. de Saint- Aulaire 
and Baron de Bausset to the Emperor of Austria — The Russian General 
Schouwaloff's Arrival at Blois — Departure of the Ministers and the Principal 
Persons in the Empress's Suite for Paris — Embarrassment of the Empress 
to Retain the Crown Diamonds — Destruction of the Emperor's Family 
Papers — On the Autograph Letters Addressed by Foreign Sovereigns to the 
Emperor Napoleon — Fruitless Search for These Letters — Departure from 
Blois — A Ciphered Letter from the Emperor — My Correspondence with the 
Emperor Through the Agency of my Colleague, Fain — Armistice — Doubts 
on the Sincerity of Good-will Expressed by the Emperor of Austria Towards 
His Daughter — Napoleon Wishes to Know the Empress's Secret Intentions — 
He Advises Her to Press Her Father to Obtain Tuscany — Arrangements 
of the Emperor for a Journey in Common with the Empress — He Informs 
Himself of the Resolutions Taken by the Various Members of His Family — 
Repeated Recommendations for the Restitution of the Crown Jewels — 
Arrangements for the Disposal of the Remainder of the Treasure of the 
Civil List — Madame de Montesquiou Expresses Her Determination Not to 
Separate from the King of Rome — With Reference to the King and Queen 
of Westphalia — Return of the Due de Cadore— He Brings No Reassuring 
Tidings from the Emperor of Austria — Marie Louise Does Not Wish to 
Delay Joining the Emperor — She Asks Madame de Monte^quiou's Advice — 
Her Farewell to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Her Household Who had 
Remained with Her — Arrival of M. de Metternich— M. de Talleyrand's 
Drawing-room — Arrival of M. Dudon, Commissioned to Remove the 
Emperor's Treasure, at Orleans — Lying Decree from the Provisional 
Government Which He Carried — Destination of the Emperor's Private 
Treasure — Tardy Arrival of General Cambronne at Orleans with Two Battalions 
of the Imperial Guard — Note Sent from Frejus to the Empress — The 
Emperor's Real and Personal Estate Sequestrated — M. de Bausset Returns 
from his Mission — M. de Metternich's Letter — All was Decided When This 
Minister Arrived in Paris — Arrival in Orleans of Two Austrian Generals 
Charged to Conduct the Empress to Rambouillet— Letter from M. de 



Motternich Concerning- the Mission of These Two Officers — Letter from 
the Emperor on this Subject — His Illusions — Anecdote on the Crown Prince 
of Wurtemberg — Communication of the Treaty of April I ith to the Members 
of the Imperial Family — Their Farewell to the Empress — Departure of 
Marie Louise for Rambouillet— She Awaits her Father there During Two 
Days — Arrival of the Emperor Francis — The Empress's Emotion —The Emperor's 
Interview With His Daughter — Discontent and Innocent Sarcasms of the 
King of Rome — Napoleon's Attempt at Suicide — Particulars About This 
Matter — The Emperor of Austria Decides his Daughter to Come to Vienna 
— The Grand Equerry of Austria Comes to Take the Empress's Orders 
Concerning this Journey — Visit of the Emperor of Russia and of the King 
of Prussia to Rambouillet— Letter from Napoleon on This Subject — The 
Emperor's Departure from Fontainebleau. 

THE Empress Marie Louise, who had left the Tuil- 
eries on March 29th, towards mid-day, was sadly 
making her way towards Rambouillet. We had a 
vague idea that we might stop at this palace, although 
this hope was not authorized by any plausible motive. 
The suite of the fugitive sovereign was composed of 
the Duchess de Montebello, lady of honour, Countess 
de Lucay, mistress of the wardrobe, Mesdames de 
Castiglione, Brignole and Montalivet, ladies of the 
palace, Count Beauharnais, knight of honour, MM. 
de Gontaut and d'Haussonville, chamberlains, Prince 
Aldobrandini, first equerry, MM. d'Hericy and Lam- 
bertye, equerries, de Cussy and Bausset, prefects of 
the palace, de Seyssel, master of ceremonies, de 
Guerchy, quarter-master of the palace, and finally 
MM. Corvisart, Bourdier, Lacourner and Royer who 
formed the medical staff in attendance. The King of 
Rome was accompanied by Countess de Montesquiou, his 
governess, Mesdames de Boubers and Mesgrigny, under- 
governesses, M. de Canisy, equerry, and by M. Auvity, 
doctor. The Prince Archchancellor and the great 
officers of the crown who happened to be in Paris 
followed the Empress. An escort of about twelve hun- 
dred men, composed of grenadiers, chasseurs, dragoons 


and lancers of the Imperial guard and picked gen- 
darmes, accompanied the carriages. 

The Empress arrived at Rambouillet on the same 
day — March 29th — and left it on the morrow to sleep at 
Chartres, without having received any news from Paris. 
The prefect was absent. Marie Louise passed the night 
at the prefect's house ; she was very impatient to receive 
news of the Emperor. Kings Joseph and Jerome 
with their Queens, the Ministers of War, of the Adminis- 
tration of War and of Marine arrived in Chartres 
during the night, they had all left Paris at five o'clock in 
the evening. There was no direct news from Napoleon 
except that it was heard that General Dejean, one of 
his aides-de-camp, had arrived, sent by him, to announce 
his march on Paris. We also heard of the proposals 
which had been made to the Emperor of Austria — 
proposals which seemed of a nature to remove every 
obstacle towards the conclusion of peace. To con- 
form himself to the instructions notified by General 
Dejean to Marshal Mortier, this marshal had sent to 
Prince Schwarzenberg to ask for a truce, basing himself 
on the fact that negotiations had been commenced 
with the Emperor of Austria, but the Austrian com- 
mander-in-chief had answered that he had no know- 
ledge of this fact and had refused the suspension of 
arms, having already concluded with Marshal Marmont 
a covenant for the surrender of Paris. We also heard 
that the Prefect of the Seine and the Prefect of Police 
had alone remained in the capital. Prince de Benevent, 
desirous of being prepared for any event, had asked 
the Minister of Police for authorization to remain in 
Paris, on the pretext that he might be useful there. 
Although it could easily be seen what part he was 


playing, the authorities were no longer powerful enough 
to force him to follow the Government to Blois. He 
was accordingly told that there were no orders 
to be given him. This opinion not shielding him 
sufficiently to his way of thinking, M. de Talleyrand 
wishing to make everything straight, left his hotel with 
a certain amount of display and pretended to be on 
his way to join the Empress, but took care to get 
himself arrested at the gates of Paris. Having thus 
put appearances on his side, Prince de Benevent returned 
home to await events. Queen Hortense had returned 
to Navarre with the Empress Josephine. 

Such was the news we received at Chartres. Our 
original intention was to travel to Tours, but in Vendome 
the Empress received a letter from the Emperor which was 
forwarded by King Joseph. In this letter Napoleon 
announced his arrival at Cour-de-France, on March 
30th, where he had heard the news of the capitulation 
of Paris. This letter contained the order that the 
Empress was to go to Blois. At the same time we heard 
in Vendome that the allied troops with the Emperor 
of Russia and the King of Prussia at their head had 
just entered Paris, and that Prince de Benevent was 
presiding at the Senate. The Empress arrived in the 
evening of April 2nd at Blois, and was received by 
the Prefect, Baron Christiani. She established herself at 
the Prefecture mansion. It was there that the ministers 
and various councillors of State, who had already 
proceeded to Tours, joined the Empress. This Princess 
stayed at Blois until April 8th, and it was here that we 
learnt the succession of events which had happened in 
Paris since the departure of the Regency Government. 

Marshal Marmont taking advantage of the authorization 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon l 209 

which had been awarded him by King Joseph, had sent 
one of his officers to Prince Schwarzenberg to treat 
on the capitulation with the allies, and it was in virtue 
of this capitulation that the allied sovereigns, except the 
Emperor of Austria, had entered Paris on March 3 1 st, 
preceded by the Russian and Prussian corps. The Em- 
peror Alexander personally had not much liking for the 
Bourbons. The King of Prussia had identified himself 
both in his language and attitude with the Emperor 
of Russia. Prince Schwarzenberg, in the absence of the 
Emperor of Austria and his principal minister, remained 
undecided. The Emperor Alexander had established 
himself at the Talleyrand Mansion in the Rue St. Flo- 
rentine where he had been preceded by his minister 
Nesselrode. The Russian sovereign was there sur- 
rounded by people who persuaded him that the French 
nation entirely rejected Napoleon. The principal object 
of the discussions which were entered upon bore 
on the troubled question of knowing whether the 
Emperor should be retained, whether a regency should 
be declared, or whether the Bourbons should be recalled. 
Talleyrand, now already deeply compromised, seeing 
that the Emperor's cause was lost had thrown off the 
mask. Presenting Due Dalberg, Abbes Louis and Pradt, 
General Dessole, and some others as organs of public 
opinion he had decided the two Emperors to declare 
that the allies would no longer treat with Napoleon. 
Prince Schwarzenberg maintained a silence which 
caused some anxiety to Talleyrand and his accomplices. 
At last, not wishing to take upon himself the respon- 
sibility of a refusal, the Austrian commander-in-chief 
yielded and took the same engagement in the name 
of his sovereign. The renegade faction encouraged 



by this adhesion added to the declaration by which the 
allies forbade themselves to treat with the Emperor Napo- 
leon the words : " Nor with any member of his family ". 
If one could doubt that the Restoration was the work 
of the foreigners it would suffice to remember that the 
allied sovereigns would only permit the publication of 
the document which recalled Louis XVIII. to the throne 
of France, when they found themselves free from all 
fear, and able to dispense with considerations of every kind 
by the desertion of the commander of the third corps. 
Thus, as it has already been very justly pointed 
out, it was not the national wish nor the authority of 
the rights of legitimacy, nor the title of a family to the 
crown which re-established the throne in the elder 
branch of the Bourbons, but it was the mere good will 
and pleasure of two foreign monarchs assisted by an 
Austrian general who without the nation's knowledge 
opened the doors of France to King Louis XVIII. and 
set him on the throne. The declaration of the allies 
which Michaud, the printer, had waited for in an 
adjoining drawing-room, had been printed and posted in 
Paris without loss of time. It remained to be decided 
what government should replace the government which 
these intrigues and this juggling had overthrown. A 
certain number of Royalists who had surrounded the 
Emperor Alexander from the moment of his arrival 
at Prince de Benevent's house, implored him to give 
them back their old masters. The municipal council 
of Paris through the mouth-piece of its president, 
Bellart, had expressed a wish that the Bourbons might 
be recalled; the EmperOr of Russia had not yet expressed 
his opinion. The Emperor Napoleon possessed in the 
person of the Due de Vicencc an advocate whose zeal 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 211 

and devotion no difficulty could cool. As to Prince 
de Benevent, he had burnt his ships behind him. Un- 
willing and unable to remain behind he had con- 
voked the senate. The result of the deliberations of 
this assembly had been the appointment of a govern- 
ment commission charged with the administration, 
and the drawing-up of a draft of the constitution. 
This Provisional Government had Prince de Benevent 
at its head as President, and as members General 
Beurnonville, Due Dalberg, Senator Jaucourt, and Abbe 
Montesquiou. The General of Division, Beurnonville, 
surnamed the French Ajax in Dumouriez's army, and 
who was known by the exaggeration of one of his 
reports in which he related that the enemy had lost 
10,000 men, and that the loss of the French consisted 
in the little finger of a chasseur, had been loaded 
with dignity and favours both in the army and in 
diplomacy by the Imperial government. General Beur- 
nonville had left M. Lavalette very late in the evening 
of March 31st. They had been deploring together 
the fatal events which had just occurred and had agreed 
to meet again on the morrow morning. On arriving 
at Beurnonville's house Lavalette heard that the general 
had been sent for during the night to Prince de 
Benevent's, for what reason was explained to him by 
the list of members of the Provisional Government. 
Talleyrand needed a general in the Provisional Govern- 
ment, and had chosen his man well; General Beurnon- 
ville displayed the greatest zeal. 

Due Dalberg, of whom we have already had occasion to 
speak, nephew of the Prince Primate, at first ambassador 
of Baden in Paris* afterwards naturalized by the grace of 
Napoleon, created a Duke, Councillor of State, and married 


to Mile. Brignole with an endowment of four million 
francs, was also reaping the reward of his perfidy 
towards the sovereign who had so generously adopted 
him. M. de Jaucourt had drawn attention to himself 
at the constitutional assembly and later on at the 
senate by the liberalism of his principles and by 
his honourable character. Taken up and protected by 
King Joseph, he had been drawn away by old 
remembrances, and by twenty-five years' relationship 
with M. de Talleyrand — a relationship which had never 
been interrupted even during the exile. The fifth 
member of the provisional government was Abbe, 
afterwards Due, de Montesquiou, formerly agent 
general of the clergy and member of the national 
assembly where he defended the privileges of his 
order with apparent moderation and with energy. 
He had served the interests of the Bourbons under 
the Consulate and under the Empire with zeal, he had 
been the agent in 1 800 in the application made by the 
Comte de Lille to the First Consul. Exiled at first he 
obtained without difficulty and in spite of his suspicious 
conduct permission to return to Paris where he lived 
in obscurity until the occurrences of 18 14. He was 
on good terms with the family of Count de Montes- 
quiou, the Grand Chamberlain, who protected him with 
the Imperial Government. Abbe de Montesquiou used 
sometimes to go and see the King of Rome's governess. 
During one of those visits he had begged his cousin 
to show him the Emperor without being seen. To 
oblige him Madame de Montesquiou placed him where 
he could see Napoleon crossing a gallery. The Abbe 
having looked at him with attention could not help 
murmuring between his teeth, yet loud enough for his 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 213 

cousin to hear him, " Will no one deliver us from this 
little man ? n Madame de Montesquiou, rather disturbed 
by the perseverance of this hatred hidden under gentle 
and inoffensive appearances, treated her relation with 
the greatest circumspection and prudence in the future. 

Prince de Benevent, whose greatest skill always con- 
sisted in turning events to his profit, and giving the last 
blow to the different governments who employed him, 
when fortune abandoned them, made use of a corpo- 
ration which bore the title of conservative, to con- 
summate the Emperor's ruin. 

This corporation, to which Napoleon in his order of 
the day of April 4th, addressed to the army, made such 
just and such killing reproaches, disposed of the 
government of France without having the authority to 
do so, and was careful not to forget in its draft of a 
constitution, to stipulate for the permanent enjoyment 
of its salaries, and the privileges which it had received 
from the Emperor himself. The legislative body 
adhered to all the acts of the senate. A nucleus of 
deputies was got together to represent this assembly 
some way or other ; it was completed later on. What- 
ever it may have done it was anticipated and excelled 
in servility by the senate. A torrent of insults, 
libels, and calumnies of all sorts suddenly took the place 
of the demonstrations of respect, and the protestations 
of devotion towards the Emperor who only the day 
before had been incensed to the extent of adulation. 
Every feeling of decency and respect was from that 
time cast aside by the majority of the corporations 
of the state. To many intelligent and impartial minds 
Napoleon was at that time our only chance of safety. 
Those who not understanding this separated from him, 


had the right to abandon him when by patriotism he 
abandoned himself, but to lose all dignity in this 
common misfortune, to throw themselves at the feet 
of foreigners, to give a display of a total want of 
decency in desertion, to insult the genius who had 
been smitten by adversity, these are things which 
we regret to have seen, and which will long live 
amongst us in sorrowful remembrance. The national 
character will not be stained by these things because it 
can be rightly said that this deplorable error was 
the error only of some individuals, and that unlike 
them the nation did not insult nor repudiate the master 
when the day of misfortune came upon him. 

In considering with greater coolness the desertions 
which took place at this painful time one. sees there a 
new example of the inevitable effect of reactions which 
is to raise up around a man who has held great 
power and who has fallen, traducers of every kind. It 
is not from contemporaries who are always actuated 
by more or less vivacious passions that one can expect 
an impartial judgment. In their eyes the greatness of 
the genius and of the character of the man who has 
presided over important events which they witnessed has 
always a contestable greatness ; and even those who have 
taken no part in these events are infinitely more prone 
than others to severity and to criticism. Most of the 
persons to whom I am alluding yoked themselves to the 
chariot of a new master, trampling beneath their feet 
the idol whom they had so long incensed, in order to 
preserve the estates, the honours, and the advantages 
with which the Imperial government had loaded them. 
For these turn-coats of honour, Napoleon's unpardon- 
able crime was to have lost together with his power 


all means of exercising his generosity in their favour. 
There are some people who do not forgive a reproach 
which they have merited, or who think they have 
not been sufficiently recompensed for their services. 
Certain generals, certain administrators, in whom the old 
jealousies of the army of the Rhine fermented, or who 
regretted the favours of those who had formerly been 
in power ; certain others who were imbued with repub- 
lican or indeed Royalist opinions gave vent at the 
sight of the fallen Colossus to hostile sentiments which 
till then they had very carefully kept down in the 
remotest recesses of their hearts. Napoleon would not 
admit that any obstacles were insurmountable; he would 
not accept the excuses of those who pleaded such 
obstacles in justification of their failure. This incre- 
dulity on his part w k as only feigned, but he considered 
it useful and even necessary to keep alive what he 
used to call the sacred fire amongst those whom he 
used for objects which audacity alone could attain. 
Those only saw in his conduct a gratuitous injustice, 
forgetting that in face of the resistances which crossed 
his plans Napoleon would have wished to have effaced 
the word " impossible " from the French dictionary. At 
the same time if he placed his confidence in those 
whose assertions he distinctly contradicted, this proved 
to them that they had not deserved ill in his eyes and 
that he on his side did not cease to appreciate their 
talents and their fidelity. The Emperor indeed took 
into account as occasion might be all the good will 
which had been displayed in his service, but the 
reward of the moment, the tracit reparation accorded by 
Napoleon did not efface in the eyes of some the injus- 
tice of the reproaches to which they had formerly been 


exposed. There may still be met to-day men who 
have kept up these old grudges, probably finding in 
these childish sufferings of their vanity a plausible 
excuse for their desertion. 

A certain number of persons bore Napoleon a 
grudge for not having appreciated the wisdom of 
their advice, and for having opposed their calcula- 
tions, and crossed their views for the future in 
the accomplishment of his designs. Others no 
doubt with more susceptible but not more equitable 
feeling remembered that their demonstrations of devotion 
had not always been received with the show of sym- 
pathy proportionate to the outward signs of their 
assiduity. Those however ought to recognize the fact — 
they suffered no harm thereby — that the mind uncon- 
sciously possesses mysterious instincts which attract or 
repel, but which in no way bring about any alteration 
in point of esteem and confidence. Do not their tardy 
complaints on this head tend to prove that their devotion 
was not really very sincere? 

The Emperor's disapproval of certain alliances 
which had been contracted by people whom he liked, 
with families who were rich but not respected, 
excited the resentment of those who had contracted 
these marriages. But he was prompted by the fear 
lest the respectability of the corporations to which 
they belonged might in some way be attainted. 

If promotion for certain people was not as rapid as 
they might have hoped, instead of attributing this 
to want of opportunities they blamed the Emperor 
for having treated them unjustly. It would however 
be difficult to mention genuine examples of real 
services or of acknowledged talents which were 


neglected by Napoleon, even in the case of men whom 
he was authorized to consider his enemies. No con- 
siderations of a man's opinions, nor of wrongs he might 
have committed against him, ever made him deviate 
from his rule of leaving no kind of merit without 
employment, that is to say, without reward. 

A longer enumeration of the causes which raised up 
enemies for Napoleon amongst those who served him 
would be superfluous. When in order to rescue France 
from the tyrannical pretensions of England, and to re- 
place her in the rank whence the successive aggrandize- 
ments of her neighbours tended to bring her down, Napo- 
leon charged himself with labours, with privations, with 
dangers of every kind; when he renounced all the 
pleasures of life and disdained that material comfort, 
which even the loftiest minds sometimes need ; when he 
exposed himself to temporary unpopularity in order to 
assure the success of plans fertile in great future results, the 
secret thereof being alone known to him — he had a right 
to exact the same sacrifices from those whom he 
employed. If he was exacting he was more so towards 
himself than towards others. 

I have pointed out the wrongs committed by such 
of Napoleon's antagonists as I may call his domestic 
enemies. I will not undertake to define the numer- 
ous varieties of adversaries to whose passions and 
feelings the fall of the Imperial Government gave 
a free field. The principal head of indictment in 
which they unite against the Emperor is that after the 
splendid victories which he gained over the coalition 
he did not relax the springs of his dictatorial govern- 
ment. They will not recognize the understanding 
which existed amongst our enemies, nor the per- 


severing system of hostilities of that coalition whose 
immense resources enabled it to repair its losses 
and unceasingly recommence the struggle. It was 
not whilst in the face of numerous active enemies 
constantly springing up afresh that Xapoleon could indulge 
in such experiments as the extension of political liberties. 
These reproaches springing from bad faith, from ignor- 
ance, or from want of sense, we have seen them serving 
the hatred and the implacable rancour of the foreign 
powers, associating themselves with the interested passions 
of the princes and courtiers following in their train. 

And this concert of complaints and recriminations which 
are but little justifiable has created a current of opinion 
hostile to the Emperor, in accrediting calumnies with 
which for a long time the present generation has been 
duped in France as well as abroad. The contagion of 
these feelings of opposition to the unhappy Emperor had 
not spared the majority of the leaders of the army. Instead 
of answering Napoleon's vibrating appeal, they forced 
him to abdicate. The Emperor had consented to this 
sacrifice in order to protect the rights of his son. The 
Due de Vicence to whom the Emperor added the Due 
de Raguse and the Prince de la Moskowa, and in 
the absence of the former, Due de Tarente, were charged 
by Napoleon to carry this document to the allied 
sovereigns. But Marmont, on whose attachment he 
thought he could rely in days of adversity, urged on 
by the fatality which seemed to weigh upon his name, 
abandoned the French eagles at this moment. M. 
Laffitte, pressed by the firm of Lassabathie of Bordeaux 
to make the Due de Raguse's family act upon him had 
persuaded the Marshal's brother-in-law a few days before 
to go to him so that he might point out to him the 


uselessness of any further resistance. This seed of 
insubordination fell on a soil which was not prepared 
at that time to receive it, but it later on bore fruits. 

Marshal Marmont's desertion was a mortal blow 
to the Imperial cause. It decided the Emperor 
Alexander, who till then had appeared to hesitate 
on the question of a regency, to exact in the name of 
the allied powers the unconditional abdication of the 
Emperor. This notification was handed to the French 
Imperial plenipotentiaries in the night of April 4th. 
On the 6th a document, by which Louis XVIII. was 
recalled to the throne of France, was published in Paris. 

The unexpected return of the Bourbons to France 
after an exile of twenty-five years, naturally makes 
one think of the vicissitudes which this prince ex- 
perienced during that long period. Louis XVIII. 
who was at that time known by the name of Count 
de Lille had at first gone to Mittau in the month of 
March, 1798, on the invitation which had been made 
to him by Czar Paul L, out of hatred for the French 
revolution. But his sentiments for Louis XVIII. changing 
completely, he very roughly sent him a command to 
leave Russian territory. The Emperor Alexander having 
broken off with France re-established only four years 
after this expulsion the pension of 200.000 roubles 
which his father had granted to Count de Lille, and 
invited this Prince to return to Mittau. At the time of 
the conclusion of the Tilsitt peace, Count de Lille left 
Mittau suddenly; the variations of Russian politics 
were during ten years the thermometer of the favour 
or the disfavour in which the head of the house 
of Bourbon was held. Count de Lille had left Mittau 
without having been asked to do so by Alexander, 


but the Czar in transmitting to the Emperor Napoleon 
the news of the Prince's departure, informed him at 
the same time that he did not know what had prompted 
it. Napoleon sent word to Alexander that he attached 
very little importance to the Pretender's movements, 
and that he would very gladly give him Versailles to live 
in if Count de Lille cared to come to France. The 
future King of France afterwards went and established 
himself in England, but did not receive the authoriza- 
tion to reside in London. He afterwards went to settle 
himself at Hartwell, where he hired the mansion and 
remained there until 1 8 1 4 at the time when he returned 
to France. 

Count d'Artois, who afterwards became Charles X., 
had left French territory in 1789. He resided in turn 
in Turin and in Mantua, where he had an interview with 
the Emperor Leopold. After numerous peregrinations 
in Germany, to London, and to Edinburgh, this prince 
travelled to St. Petersburg, where the Empress Catherine 
presented him with a useless sword. On his return 
from Russia, Count d'Artois showed himself on the 
coasts of Brittany and even landed in the He Dieu. 
In 1 8 1 3, he was in Germany and in 18 14, in Bale, 
whence he returned to France by way of the Franche- 
Comt('\ with the title of lieutenant-general of the kingdom. 

Apart from their intelligences with the foreign 
powers, Louis XVI.'s brothers never ceased, from the 
time of their exile, to keep agents in Paris and 
to make overtures, through these agents, to members 
of the Convention or the Directoire, to high civil func- 
tionaries or to generals. 

The immense popularity which Pichegru had enjoyed 
in France, after the conquest of 1 1 olland, drew the atten- 


tion of the royalists upon him. Since 1795, relations 
had been established between this general, the Prince de 
Conde, and other Bourbon agents. The reward of 
services at first clandestine, intended afterwards to 
become public, which had been or were to be rendered 
by Pichegru to the royalist cause was to be the 
governorship of Alsace, a million in money, two 
hundred thousand francs a year, the Arbois estate, 
which was to bear the name of Pichegru, twelve 
cannon, the grand cordon of the orders of the Holy 
Ghost and of Saint Louis, and finally the dignity of 
Marshal of France. The importance of the price was 
proportioned to the greatness of the treason. 

The part intended for Barras was less magnificent. 
In the month of April, 1799, the Marquis de Maisonfort 
proposed the assistance of this Director to the Comte 
de Lille. In the month of July following, Barras 
received letters patent signed by the King and coun- 
tersigned by M. de Saint- Priest, sealed with the Great 
Seal, which after assuring him of amnesty, awarded 
him twelve million francs for himself and two million 
francs for his collaborators. This was four months 
before Brumaire the 18th. This secret covenant was 
not known to Napoleon who heard of it from Consul 
Lebrun to whom Abbe Montesquiou had revealed it. 

On June 9th, 1796, the Comte de Lille had authorized 
Pichegru to approach certain influential generals in the 
army in Italy. M. Rocques de Montgaillard was also 
charged, shortly before Fructidor 18th, to offer General 
Bonaparte the vice-royalty of Corsica, the post of 
Marshal of France and the blue cordon ; but this agent 
was unable to fulfil his mission and could not reach 
General Bonaparte. 


The silence which General Moreau observed during 
six months on the seizure of General Kinglin's vans, 
in which Moreau had found the correspondence of 
Pichegru with the Prince of Conde, this silence, we 
say, has seemed to some a proof of Moreau's interested 
complicity in the royalist conspiracy. However, half 
a century has passed since that event took place, and 
as no fresh revelations have been made on the subject, 
it remains established that Moreau was not mixed up 
in Pichegru's machinations. * 

With regard to the Pretender's alleged relations 
with the revolutionary party, history may perhaps 
disclose these some day; but up to the present time 
it has been impossible to obtain other than obscure 
and incomplete information on this point. 

Apart from the letters which the Comte de Lille 
wrote to the First Consul and the applications made 
in his name by Vendeen and other chiefs, the Comte 
d'Artois, faithful to his habits of gallantry, had entrusted 
the beautiful Duchess de Guiche with a mission of 
seduction at the court of the First Consul. Believing 
Josephine to have an inclination towards royalist ideas 
and an influence over Napoleon which she did not 
possess, the future King Charles X. had caused the 
most magnificent assurances of the gratitude of the 
Bourbons to be made to her, through Madame de 
(i niche, if the First Consul should consent to favour 
their re-establishment. Josephine had received the 
duchess with affability, and had even asked her to 
lunch; but she also very politely refused her offers. 
The answer which the First Consul made to the 

•General Moreau only informed the Dircctoire of what he had 
found after ill' discovery of the conspiracy of Fructidor loth. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 223 

proposal that there should be erected on the Place du 
Carrousel, a column surmounted with his statue crown- 
ing the Bourbons, is well known. "My tomb," he 
said, " will serve as pedestal to this statue. " 

The emissaries of the two brothers often arrived 
with contradictory instructions. The Comte de Lille 
feigned to lend himself to ideas of constitutional mon- 
archy, of amnesty and of amicable arrangement with 
the persons who had bought national property. Count 
d'Artois spoke of nothing but absolute monarchy and 
revenge. These princes were assisted by Russia and 
by England. 

A fact worthy of mention is that the princes of the 
House of Orleans figured in no intrigue against their 
country, took no part in any league with foreigners, 
and placed themselves in the pay of no European 
powers. The only exception to this line of conduct 
which can be quoted is the relations between the hea d 
of the Orleans family and the Cadiz Regency in the 
month of May, 18 10. 

The abdication of the Emperor brought with it the 
proscription of the national colours which he had covered 
with glory and rendered the object of the respect of 
all the world. This great event was carried through 
with an ease which astonished the foreigners. One of 
the first acts of the new government, in its contempt 
for the national glory, had been to invite the Paris 
national guard to assume the white cockade. The 
leaders of the twelve legions had at first not seemed 
disposed to obey, but a week later, on a second order, 
the tricolour disappeared. This apparent resignation 
emboldened the provisional government to order that 
the white cockade and the white flag should in future 


be the cockade and flag- of France. The army and 
the navy submitted to this humiliating necessity with 
a shudder, and bitter resentment was pressed down 
to the bottom of the hearts of our officers and even 
of the private soldiers. 

The allies were alarmed by the bombast and the 
pretensions of the royalists. They begged the new king 
to make use of the elements of the Revolution in 
governing and to give France a constitution. Never- 
theless they looked upon the proscription of the 
national colours as a reason for security. These 
colours reminded them of things which they preferred 
to forget, and moreover they feared that unless the 
white flag were hoisted the whole country might rise 
to arms against their soldiers. Other foreigners, 
endowed with more foresight, feared on the contrary 
lest the proscribed colours might become a formidable 
rallying sign for the partisans of the fallen Emperor. 
The white cockade, which was forced upon France 
during fifteen years, the last symbol of the counter- 
revolution, could not survive the government which 
was overthrown by the Revolution of 1830. A national 
government re-established on that day in France the 
tricolour, which had been adopted by the French 
nation, which will know no others after all the remem- 
brances of triumphs and greatness of which the blue, 
white, and red flag has become the emblem. 

After signing the abdication at Fontainebleau, after 
his abandonment by his comrades-in-arms who wore 
impatient to enjoy in peace the honours and riches 
with which he had loaded them,* Napoleon kept up an 

vet did any head of a government reward military services more 
splendidly; I will only quote one example of this. At the time of the 


active correspondence with Marie Louise. Not a day 
passed without his sending her an officer, in spite of 
the fact that the road to Blois was intercepted by the 
enemy. Marie Louise sometimes expressed her regret 
at having left Paris and spoke of her wish to rejoin 
the Emperor. The obstacles which opposed themselves 
to the realization of this desire, the conflict of contra- 
dictory opinions expressed on the subject by those who 
surrounded her, made her postpone endeavouring to 
bring this meeting about, much as it was in her thoughts. 
Her anxiety had reached its highest pitch ; the violent 
emotions which she had undergone, the tears which 
she was constantly shedding, her painful sleeplessness 
had cast her into a state of nervousness which nearly 
approached a convulsive state. She could not imagine 
what passions were agitating France. The assurances 
which she had received from her father constantly 
reverted to her mind ; she could not persuade herself 
that the Emperor of Austria would sacrifice her hus- 
band and her son. At the same time the events which 
hastened on in Paris left her but few illusions ; she 
was confounded ; but like a drowning woman she 

1809 war, the Emperor commissioned the Minister of Finance to pay 
to each of the Marshals or principal commanders of the army corps, 
who were to take part in the campaign, a sum, not equally large for 
all, intended for the purchase of big mansions in Paris. This present 
was apart from the liberalities and endowments which the Emperor 
awarded to his lieutenants in various circumstances, notably after the 
1806 campaign. He then distributed from eleven to twelve millions in 
money to his lieutenants, to thirty of his generals, to certain civilians 
and to the Polish generals Zayonchek and Dombrowski. So great was 
the idea which his Marshals and lieutenants had formed of the prince's 
munificence and of the fortune to which they might pretend under the 
flags, that one of them refused to give a receipt for the sum of one 
million which had been paid to him, as though such a sum were not 
of sufficient importance to necessitate such a formality. The Minister 
was obliged to get one of his near relatives to interfere to obtain it. 


clung to the paternal affection which seemed to her 
her only means of safety. Hearing that the Emperor 
of Austria was not in Paris, she hoped that he would 
not consent to what had been done in his absence and 
that her voice would be listened to ; she sent him the 
Due de Cadore with a pressing letter. The Due de 
Cadore, former ambassador of France to Vienna, had 
been treated with the greatest kindness by the Emperor 
Francis who had deigned to be the godfather of one 
of his children. He left Blois on April 6th, and was 
replaced by M. de Montalivet in the post of secretary 
of State to the Regency. On the morrow, Count 
Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely was sent on the same 
mission ; on the 8th, MM. de St. Aulaire and Bausset 
left charged with fresh letters from the Empress to the 
Emperor of Austria. The Empress's stay in Blois 
alternated between fears and hopes, in the expectation 
of what Napoleon should decide to do, and especially 
in the expectation of the turn of events ; it was not 
marked by any important act of government. The 
Empress presided at Regency councils every day, the 
object of which was rather to communicate the news 
that had been received and to exchange opinions than 
to attend to business ; he who put all things in motion 
was there no more. As nobody could foresee what 
any day might bring forth, the Ministers used to come 
to the Empress's house in their travelling suits. The 
only act which emanated from the Government in its 
retreat in Blois was a proclamation to the French, 
which, so to speak, attracted no attention whatever. 

The Emperor's brothers Joseph and Jerome, as well 
as the Archchancellor made an application to the 
Empress on the morning of April 8th, which has given 


rise to erroneous interpretations. The Regent's coun- 
sellors had fears, for which there was good foundation, 
for the safety of Napoleon's wife and child ; and it was 
with this in their minds that they came to point out 
to the Empress that it was necessary for her to leave 
Blois to proceed with the young prince over the 
Loire and to transport the seat of the government 
thither. Marie Louise, tired of the hazards of a wander- 
ing life, remained immovable in the resolution of not 
going further away ; in spite of the vivacity with which 
Jerome explained the reasons why he insisted on the 
matter, the princess would not yield. The officers of 
her suite, General Caffarelli at the head of them, think- 
ing wrongly that violence was being done to Napo- 
leon's wife, interfered in her favour in a somewhat 
tumultuous manner. Three hours later a Russian 
commissioner arrived to secure the persons of the 
Empress and of her son. 

Count Schouwaloff arrived in Blois at two o'clock in 
the afternoon. This commissioner of the allied powers, 
aide-de-camp of the Emperor of Russia, was accompanied 
by Baron de Saint- Aignan, equerry of the Emperor Napo- 
leon and brother-in-law of the Due de Vicence ; he com- 
municated the object of his mission, which was to conduct 
the Empress and her son to Orleans. General Schou- 
waloff 's arrival gave the signal for the departure of the 
principal persons who had accompanied the Empress. 
Each went to fetch his passports at the mairie to have 
them visaed by the Russian officer, whose lodgings 
were filled with people all day long. The majority of 
the Ministers and councillors of state left for Paris. 
I saw the Minister of War, the Due de Feltre — Clarke 
— who with the smile which he always wore, told me 


that he had come to take farewell of his old colleague — 
he had been secretary to the cabinet — and to hand him 
a letter which he had written to the Emperor to take 
leave of him. He added that when one left people, 
it ought to be done politely; that he had to give an 
account of the state of the war-archives, the depot of 
maps and so on ; that he did not want to be considered 
a thief. 

From that moment forward it was put out of the 
Empress's power to join the Emperor. Whatever 
illusion she may have wished to retain on this point, 
the separation of the two spouses was decided. If the 
assurances since given by the Austrian Ministers, 
and by the Emperor Francis himself, that she would 
be left to inhabit the Island of Elba or her new 
States, or to divide her residence between Parma and 
the Island of Elba, were sincere, it was no longer in 
their power to keep their promises as had to be admitted 
later on. 

On April gth, very early in the morning, I w r ent to 
the Empress's house. I found her up and rather 
nervous as to how the journey would pass off. She 
sent for the crown jewels, which she did not very well 
know what to do with. Knowing that she would have 
to pass through posts of Cossacks and be escorted by 
foreign troops, she feared lest her carriages might be 
looted; she thought of carrying the various parures 
into which these jewels had been made, upon her 
person, never doubting that her person would be 
respected. There remained the imperial sword on the 
hilt of which the Regent diamond had been mounted, 
and the blade of which was in the way. Unable to 
take anybody into my confidence, I was reduced to se- 


parate this blade from its handle by myself. As I had no 
tool at my disposal fit for such work, I had the idea 
of placing the blade under one of the fire-dogs in the 
fire-place of the Empress's apartment, and to my great 
satisfaction, I discovered that it was made of brass; 
so that I had little trouble in breaking it. I hid the 
hilt under my clothes, and T proceeded to my carriage 
through the hindrances occasioned by the block of 
horses and carriages, not without trembling for the 
safety of my precious burthen. I had preserved the 
family papers and other valuable documents which the 
Emperor had ordered me to carry away from the 
Tuileries, at the moment of our departure, to destroy 
them if they ran any risk of being seized or lost, till 
then ; I now thought that the latter circumstance had 
arrived and threw them into the fire. 

I think it necessary to say that amongst these papers 
there were not the letters addressed by foreign sovereigns 
to Napoleon; had they formed part of this collection, 
we should know definitely what became of these curious 
documents, over the fate of which there has till now 
reigned an impenetrable obscurity. 

All the searches which were carried out by the 
Emperor's orders, for these papers, by King Joseph, 
the Due de Bassano, and myself remained without 

After having been stolen from the Count de Survil- 
liers — the name which King Joseph had taken — in the 
portmanteaux sent from Paris to Point Breeze near 
New York, they are said to have fallen, according to the 
statement of Doctor O'Meara, into the hands of Murray, 
an English publisher in London. M. de Lieven, the 
Russian ambassador to England, it is said, bought 


back his sovereign's letters for the sum of ten thousand 

As far as I can remember, the letters of this important 
collection which possessed the greatest interest, had 
been written by the Emperor Alexander. Those written 

♦In answer to my inquiry on this point Mr. John Murray writes me: 
"You will rind the full account of my grandfather's share in the nego- 
tiations concerning Bonaparte's private correspondence in 'A Publisher 
and His Friends,' vol. ii pp. 279 — 280." I annex the extract referred 
to, from which it will be seen that de Meneval is incorrect in his 
statement that these letters ever came into Mr. Murray's hands. 

"In 18 15 a very remarkable collection of documents was offered to 
Mr. Murray for purchase and publication. They Mere in the possession 
of one of Napoleon's generals, a friend of Miss Waldie. The collection 
consisted of the personal correspondence of Bonaparte, when in the 
height of his power, with all the crowned heads and leading personages 
of Europe, upon subjects so strictly confidential that they had not even 
been communicated to their own ministers or private secretaries. They 
were consequently all written by their own hands. 

"As regards the contents of these letters, Mr. Murray had to depend 
upon his memory, after making a hurried perusal of them. He was 
not allowed to copy any of them, but merely took a rough list. No 
record was kept of the dates. Among them was a Utter from the 
King of Bavaria, urging his claims as a true and faithful ally, and claiming 
for his reward the dominion of Wurtcmbcrg. 

"There were several letters from the Prussian Royal family, including 
one from the King, insinuating that by the cession of Hanover to him 
his territorial frontier would be rendered more secure. The Emperor 
Paul, in a letter written on a small scrap of paper, proposed to transfer 
his whole army to Napoleon, to be employed in turning the English 
out of India, provided he would prevent them passing the Gut and 
enclosing the Baltic. 

" The Empress of Austria wrote an apology for the uncultivated state 
of mind of her daughter, Marie Louise, about to become Napoleon's 
bride; but added that her imperfect education presented the advantage 
of allowing Napoleon to mould her opinions and principles in accord- 
ance with his own views and wishes. 

"This correspondence would probably have met with an immense sale, 
but Mr. Murray entertained doubts as to the propriety of publishing 
documents so confidential umt declined to purchase them for tin- sum 
proposed. The next day after his refusal, he ascertained that Prince 
l.i' \' 11 had given on behalf of his government not less than £10,000 
for the letters emanating hem the Court of Russia alone." 

1 have italicized the passage which contradicts de Meneval's state* 

111' lit. k. h. s, 


by the Spanish, Bavarian and Wurtemberg princes and 
some of those written by Prussia were also of a 
nature to excite curiosity, inasmuch as they were his- 
torical documents. The rest of the collection, as far as 
my memory serves me, was not of the same interest; 
however, as copies had been taken of them by the 
Emperor's orders, it is possible that this correspondence 
will appear one day. 

At ten o'clock in the morning after having received 
Count Schouwaloff, the Empress, accompanied by her 
son and the princes and princesses of the imperial 
family, left Blois on her way to Orleans. At Beau- 
gency the Cossacks stopped the last carriages of her 
suite and looted them, but at General SchouwalofiPs 
command everything that had been taken was restored. 
Marie Louise arrived in Orleans at six in the evening 
and was received on her entry into the city by the 
civil and military authorities. The national guard and 
the garrison formed in line along her way up to the 
bishop's palace, where she alighted. These troops 
hailed her arrival with cries of " Long live the Emperor" 
and "Long live the Empress." 

During the night which followed on our arrival at 
Orleans I received a ciphered letter, which had been 
dictated by the Emperor on April 8th. This letter 
had been after me to Blois and had been forwarded 
on to Orleans; it filled me with grief and consternation. 
It had been written in a moment of discouragement 
and bore the impress of deep sorrow. The substance 
of this letter was: that it had been agreed with the 
Emperor of Austria that the crown should pass to the 
King of Rome under the Regency of the Empress; 
that M. de Metternich was charged to formulate this 


covenant; that in this state of affairs it was necessary 
that the Empress should always be acquainted with 
the whereabouts of the Emperor of Austria, to have 
recourse to his protection, and that everything was to 
be looked for, even the Emperor's death. I was 
ordered to burn this letter after having read it and to 
make what use of its contents I should think fit. I 
burned the letter in conformity with a behest which 
1 was tempted to consider as the expression of a dying 
will. I was so disturbed by this fatal confidence that 
I thought it right to inform the Duchess of Montebello, 
who enjoyed the Empress's greatest confidence, and 
who by reason of her position was best able to keep 
up her courage and to comfort her if the misfortune 
which I feared were to come upon her; I then waited 
for news from Fontainebleau in terrible anxiety. The 
Empress had anticipated the wish expressed by the 
Emperor that she should keep herself in communication 
with her father in sending the Due de Cadore, and 
MM. Rcgnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely, de Bausset, and 
de Saint-Aulaire, one after the other to the Emperor 
of Austria. 

Since the withdrawal of the ministers and the great 
officers of the crown the Emperor had no intermediary 
between the Empress and himself; I was the only 
person remaining with the Empress whom he was 
accustomed to confide in. An exchange of letters 
was then established between the Emperor and my self, 
through the agency of my colleague, Baron Fain, until 
the moment of his departure from Fontainebleau, and 
after his departure through the agency of General 
Bertrand. M. Fain took care to inform me that every 
letter that he wrote to me had been dictated to him 


from the first word to the last. I received one 
letter and sometimes two, sent off at different hours, 
every day. I will not transcribe these letters tex- 
tually; I will only copy the passages which can 
throw a light on events and reveal the thoughts which 
occupied the Emperor's mind and his solicitude for the 

To the letter of April the 9th was annexed the 
armistice concluded with Prince Schwarzenberg by the 
commissioners invested with full powers by the Empe- 
ror, the Marshals, Prince de la Moskowa, the Due de 
Tarente and the Due de Vicence. In virtue of this 
armistice of forty-eight hours, preliminary of the nego- 
tiations, a line of demarcation was drawn, starting from 
the sea and following the limits which separated the 
departments of the Somme, the Oise, Seine-et-Oise, 
Seine-et-Marne, the Yonne, the Cote d'Or, Saone-et- 
Loire, Rhone, Seine-Inferieure, Eure, Eure-et-Loire, 
Loiret, Nievre, Allier, and Loire. Thence this line 
followed the frontier of the Isere department up to 
Mont-Cenis. In the department of Seine-et-Marne the 
line of demarcation followed the bed of the Seine, the 
right banks of which were occupied by the allied 
troops and the left banks by the French. 

Since the opening of the negotiations which had 
been entered upon by Napoleon's three plenipotentiaries 
with the allies, Prince Schwarzenberg, in spite of the 
friendly disposition which the Emperor of Austria had 
manifested towards his daughter, opposed that Tuscany, 
which had been asked for Marie Louise by Napoleon, 
should be granted to her. A certain latitude was left 
to the Emperor to select his personal residence, but 
he preferred the Island of Elba to any other arrangement. 


Another letter of the gth, addressed to me, informed 
me that Napoleon 

" was expecting news from Paris before deciding about 
his journey; that he wished to join the Empress near Gien; 
that he supposed that Madame (his mother) and his brothers 
were already on their way to Provence .... 

" He wished to know whether the Empress was travelling 
by stage-coach or with her own horses." 

Passing on to subjects personal to me, 

" he supposed that it was my intention to follow the Em- 
press wherever she might go; he said that he considered that 
warm climates were favourable to my health; that my wife 
and children could follow me there; that in taking a step 
which was in conformity with my sentiments, I could also 
be useful to the Emperor; that his greatest sorrow was to 
think of the troubles which the Empress was undergoing 
and the harm that they must do to her health." 

A letter written on the evening of the ioth, stated 
that, according to letters received by the Emperor, the 
Empress seemed disposed to go and see her father : 

"But," he added, "does she know where her father is? 
It was reported yesterday that he must be at Brie-Comte- 
Robert, and would arrive in Paris to-day; all these reports 
are very vague. If you have any more positive information, 
acquaint us with it. The Emperor expects the Due de 
Vicence this evening, who will bring him some definite 
decision on his affairs. The Emperor wishes you to find 
out what are the Empress's real inUnti- »ns and to know 
whether she prefers to follow the Emperor in all the hazards 
of this evil fortune or to retire, either into a Stall- which will 
be given t<> her, or to her father's palace with her son. 
The Emperor would also like you to inform yourself what 


each of the Empress's or King of Rome's red ladies* 
wishes to do , . . Try and find out also what each of the 
Emperor's three brothers wishes to do ; of course this commu- 
nication will be in confidence." 

I answered that I feared that the Empress was no 
longer at liberty to join the Emperor ; that I thought 
that personally she wished to do so but that she still 
trusted in her father's affection who, as she used to 
say, would not allow her to be separated from her 
husband and from her son ; that she authorized herself 
by the wish expressed by the Emperor to await the 
effect of the applications which she had made to the 
Emperor of Austria. I added that the fear of being 
arrested on her way might keep her back, and that 
the idea of flight was repugnant to her. 

In a later letter of the same day the Emperor asks 
me to send him news as to the Empress's health. He 
would like to have Doctor Corvisart's opinion on this 

In a letter dated the 1 1 th, at four o'clock in the 
morning, Napoleon sent me word: 

"that M. de Metternich has arrived in Paris but does not 
seem better disposed than M. de Schwarzenberg; that the 
Empress's plan of going to see her father still seems advisable; 
that however it is not yet known in Paris where the 
Emperor of Austria may be, that if the Empress knows it, 
he would like her to tell him before setting out on her 

In a letter sent off at noon on the same day the 
Emperor informs me of what follows : 

* The "red ladies" were the Empress's dames d'annonce, so called 
by the Emperor because they wore amaranth-coloured dresses. The 
Emperor used to call the Empress's chambermaids "the white women" 
because they were usually dressed in white. 

236 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

"It appears that arrangements were signed this night 
between the Due de Vicence and the ambassadors of Russia, 
Austria, and England; that the island of Elba is given to the 
Emperor; Piacenza, Parma and Guastalla to the Empress and 
the King of Rome. It would be well however for the 
Empress to continue pressing her father for Tuscany, and if 
that be impossible at least to obtain in addition to Parma 
and Piacenza the territories of Lucca, Piombino, Massa di 
Carrara, and the Pontremoli enclosures; by this means the 
Empress would be in communication with the island of 
Elba . . . 

" The Emperor's plan would be to proceed to Briare, as 
soon as his affairs are settled, the Empress to join him there, 
so as to continue their journey by Nevers, Moulins and 
Mont-Cenis as far as Parma. The Empress and the King of 
Rome might rest at Parma, whilst the Emperor would go on 
to the island of Elba to prepare everything necessary for the 
Empress's arrival. It is stipulated in the treaty that every 
Frenchman who shall follow him shall preserve his rights as 
a Frenchman and his estates, and will be at liberty to return 
to France . . . ." 

He also spoke in this letter of replacing Madame 
dc Montesquiou as governess to his son, for he had 
heard that the Countess did not wish to leave Paris, 
though I do not know who had told him so. The 
Emperor also strongly insisted in the same letter on 
the indispensable restitution of the crown jewels. 

I communicated the substance of this letter to the 
Empress. SI > said that she would acquaint her father 
of the arrangements which were proposed in it. I 
sent word to the Emperor that the sword in the hilt 
of which the Regent diamond had been set, and all 
the diamonds of the crown, had been handed over to 
M. de la Bouillerie, in conformity with his orders. 


As regards Madame de Montesquiou and her alleged 
intention, I informed Napoleon that his son's governess 
had never expressed any intention of returning to 
Paris, and that on the contrary she charged me to 
inform him that whatever might happen, she was 
decided not to separate herself from her royal pupil, 
unless he was torn from her arms by force. 

The Emperor had expressed the desire of seeing 
the Queen of Westphalia, born Princess of Wurtemberg, 
remain in Paris in spite of what had happened, but 
nothing could determine this very model of conjugal 
devotion to live away from her husband. 

Napoleon had hopes in King Jerome, and it was 
just at the time when the maturity of his judgment 
was developing his natural qualities that fortune came 
to overthrow the edifice of which he was called to be 
one of the strongest supports. Jerome seconded the 
Emperor with the ardour of absolute devotion in his days 
of adversity. He gave him the last proofs of this 
devotion during the short campaign of Waterloo, where 
he was the last to leave the field of battle after having 
accomplished prodigies of valour. 

On the day after her arrival at Orleans, (it was 
Easter Day,) the Empress received the Due de Cadore, 
after mass, ori his return from his mission to the 
Emperor of Austria whom he had only been able to 
join at Chanceaux, near Dijon. This prince had been 
dragged away with the fugitives in consequence of 
Napoleon's movement upon Saint-Dizier. He found 
himself there, separated from his army and from his 

The Empress was under the empire of the reflec- 


tions which were suggested to her by Napoleon's 
advice to put herself in communication with her father. 
She was alarmed by precautionary measures which seemed 
to warn her that the protection under which she had 
been always sheltered was no longer as efficacious as 
in the past. The Emperor of Austria's letter, which 
was handed to her by the Due de Cadore, in which 
this prince protesting his good will, expressed his fear 
that his allies might not share in his zeal for her 
interests, increased the Empress's anxieties. She had 
received so many sterile protestations that she had 
ceased to place any reliance upon them. Her re-union 
with the Emperor Napoleon depicted itself in her mind, 
troubled by so many emotions, as an imperative duty, 
and she reproached herself for having so long delayed 
in carrying it out. 

Fleeing from counsels which were not in harmony 
with the thought which preoccupied her mind, she 
rushed one day out of her dressing-room, and half- 
dressed, crossed the terrace which separated her 
apartment from that of her son, and threw herself into 
the arms of Madame de Montesquiou whom she held 
in great esteem. Intrigues had always been busy at 
work to separate the Empress from this lady, whose 
rigid character and well-known inflexibility in the 
accomplishment of every virtue prompted her to remind 
Marie Louise of the duties which some people had at 
times endeavoured to induce her to forget. The 
recollection of good advice given under important 
circumstances and an absolute confidence in her wisd< >m 
and the purity of her principles attracted her irresistibly 
towards Madame de Montesquiou. This lady had never 
any other thought than to remain faithful in adversity. 


The Empress strengthened herself under her influence 
in her resolution to go and join the Emperor at Fon- 
tainebleau. She then made serious preparations for her 
departure which was to take place as soon as she had 
received an answer to her letters to the Emperor of 
Austria, which had been carried by M.M. de Bausset 
and Saint- Aulaire ; she awaited the return of these 
gentlemen with great anxiety. They had been obliged 
to go as far as Paris, where they hoped the Emperor 
of Austria might at last have arrived. 

During the day of April 1 1 th a great part of the 
Empress's household, chamberlains, ladies in waiting, 
and equerries, came to take leave of the dethroned 
sovereign; this leave-taking could not but be very 
painful to her. 

M. de Metternich, who had left the Emperor of 
Austria at Troyes only arrived in Paris on the morning 
of April nth. Lord Castlereagh had gone to meet 
him, and entering his stage-coach had informed the 
Emperor Francis's minister of what had been done 
during his absence and pressed him to agree to these 
things in the name of his master. Metternich's arrival 
was awaited by high persons and by all who were 
compromised in any degree in having contributed to the 
overthrow of the Imperial Government. M. de Nessel- 
rode, who happened to be in M. de Talleyrand's 
drawing-room, which was the meeting-place of the 
deserters from the vanquished party and the admirers 
of the rising sun, left precipitously on hearing of the 
arrival from the Austrian minister, and returned two 
hours afterwards to Talleyrand's mansion. The high 
priest of this temple of perfidy, after having spoken for 
a moment with the Russian minister turned round to 

240 MfiNEVAL'S memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

his friends, and with an expression of joy on his face, 
which was usually so impassive, said to them: "Gentle- 
men, the Emperor of Austria approves of what we 
have done." 

In the meanwhile the Emperor Napoleon accom- 
panied by some faithful servants and followed by 
600 braves who attached themselves to his bad 
fortune was preparing to leave France with a sum of 
3,400,000 francs. It is with these feeble resources that 
the man who had been master of Europe, who had 
disposed of the finances of the Empire and of the 
treasures which victory had poured into his hands, 
was about to gain the humble retreat which his 
enemies had not dared to refuse to the mighty 
vanquished. No idea of preparing a comfortable position 
for himself in case of adversity had ever entered 
Napoleon's mind; he had so completely identified 
himself with his country that on the day when he 
separated from France he deemed that he had no 
longer need of anything. 

Whilst Marie Louise was still in Orleans, M. Dudon, 
formerly maitre dcs requites to the council of state, 
who thanks to the protection of the Archchanccllor 
had been rapidly promoted, arrived there charged with 
a special mission. He had incurred Napoleon's dis- 
favour for having abandoned his post in Spain. The 
Provisional Government who considered the malcontents 
of the Imperial regime as excellent agents, commissioned 
M Dudon to go and lay hands on the Emperor's 
treasure. At the same time in order to justify this ini- 
quitous robbery the Provisional Government pretended 
to have been informed that considerable sums of money 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 241 

had been removed from Paris before the occupation ot 
this city by the allies — sums of money augmented by 
the pillage of the public municipal treasuries, the 
funds of the pawn-broking establishments, and even 
of the hospitals. The decree issued with this in view 
commanded all persons detaining these funds to 
immediately declare and pay them over to the municipal 
and general receivers of taxes, under the penalty of 
being declared despoilers and as such being prosecuted 
according to the law both criminally and civilly. This 
decree, which was dated April gth, was signed by the 
five members of the Provisional Government, Talleyrand, 
Dalberg, Francois de Jaucourt, Beurnonville, and Abbe 
de Montesquiou. 

On arriving at Orleans where he knew that he 
would find the Imperial treasure, which was the 
object of the Provisional Government's decree, M. 
Dudon betook himself to the house of Baron de la 
Bouillerie, Treasurer General of the Crown, who had 
nothing to do with any public funds ; informed him of 
his quality as government commissioner, and had the 
books of the treasurer laid before him. He thence 
proceeded to the house of General Caffarelli, and 
notified to him the decree which confiscated the Emperor's 
treasures as being the product of a spoliation of the 
public funds. In spite of the protestations of this 
general and of the Due de Cadore, who persisted in 
denying that the decree which was exhibited by M. 
Dudon was applicable to the Imperial treasure, which 
was purely the Emperor's private property, and the 
product of savings on his civil list, as was clearly 
established, M. Dudon, assisted by the officer of picked 
gendarmes who were entrusted with the guard of the 


242 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

treasure, removed the vans which contained it in the 
course of the evening. These vans were standing in 
the square and contained about 10,000,000 francs in gold 
and silver coins; 3,000,000 francs in silver and gilt plate: 
and about 400,000 francs worth of snuff-boxes and rings 
enriched with diamonds which were intended to be given 
as presents ; the Imperial clothes, and ornaments which 
were covered with gold embroidery ; and even the Em- 
peror's pocket-handkerchiefs wmich were marked with 
an N, and the Imperial crown. The Russian General 
Schouwaloff who was appealed to to interfere, in no way- 
opposed the execution of so revolting a deed. 

On the morrow — April 13th— General Cambronne 
arrived in Orleans with two battalions of the guard. The 
Emperor hearing that one of the reasons which might 
prevent Marie Louise from coming to Fontainebleau was 
the fear of being arrested on the way by the enemy, 
doubtless sent her this escort to protect her. I am 
however not acquainted with what were General Cam- 
bronne's instructions, though we received no notice of 
his expedition. He did not find the Empress in Orleans, 
for she had left the day before for Rambouillet. The 
general's mission was limited to protect the transport 
to Fontainebleau of the remains of the treasure which 
had been in the keeping of M. Peyrusse, whose zeal 
and fidelity, which at one time had been misunderstood 
by the Emperor, had never once failed him. 

The vans containing Napoleon's private treasure 
which had been seized in Orleans by M. Dudon were 
transported to Paris. I heard from M. de la 
Bouillerie, who having been Treasurer of the Imperial 
Civil List passed to the same functions under Louis XVIII., 
tli at the remains of this treasure were conveyed to the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 243 

Tuileries, that one of the barrels of gold was broken 
open, and the contents distributed amongst such of the 
emigres as were besieging the court of Count d'Artois, 
who was at that time lieutenant-general to the King; 
and that this Prince had not opposed this distribution 
in any way. Baron Louis, who had him appointed to 
the Ministry of Finance, having been informed of this 
pillage, made haste to come up and rescue the rest of 
the money. But when M. de la Bouillerie had asked 
for the two millions requisite to discharge an engage- 
ment taken by Napoleon in favour of the officers and 
servants of his household, an engagement guaranteed by 
Article nine of the treaty of Fontainebleau,* " Monsieur " 
had ordered on the unanimous advice of Baron Louis and 
M. de Talleyrand that the remnants of the Imperial 
treasure, eight or ten millions, should be purely and 
simply paid into the public exchequer, at first as a 
loan, and afterwards definitely. 

Such was the fate of this treasure, the fruit of the 
savings which Napoleon had made out of the revenues 
of the civil list during ten years. Of the 120,000,000 
of which it was composed at first, 100,000,000 had 
been employed in the noblest manner, since it had 
been used in reorganizing the army, and in meeting 
the wants of the public exchequer. The rest became 
as I have just related the prey of violence and of bad 

On the same day on which this crime was committed 
against the poor remnants of his material resources 
the Emperor had signed his abdication at Fontaine- 

* Concluded between the allied sovereigns and the Emperor Napoleon 
on April nth, 1814. 

244 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

On the moment of his embarkment at Frejus Napoleon 
sent me through General Bertrand a note, which 
will be found lower down. I handed it by his orders 
to the Empress, informing her that the Emperor wished 
her to transmit it to the Emperor, her father, a com- 
mission which was faithfully discharged by the Empress 
Marie Louise. The following is the note in question: 

" According to Article 1 1 of the treaty the proceeds of the 
Civil list belong to the Emperor — the Due de Cadore has 
the balance sheet of all which belongs to the Civil list, and 
of the savings which have been accumulated during 14 years. 

" A treasure of from ten to twelve millions has been unjustly 
seized in Orleans and is to-day in sequestration in 

"The Due de Cadore and M. de la Bouillerie, the Trea- 
surer of the Crown have in their keeping all scrip belonging 
to the crown, such as bank paper and investments in various 

" It is evident that as the French Government is acting with 
ill grace in all matters, and contrary to every idea of justice, 
it is no use to hope for the two millions invested in govern- 
ment stock, and intended for the maintenance of the Island 
of Elba, unless some foreigner interferes in the matter. 

" There are four or five hundred thousand francs worth of 
presents, with portraits of the Emperor which had been 
bought out of the funds of the Civil list, and which were 
seized in Orleans together with all his plate and silver. 
The Emperor has also been deprived of his library, and of 
everything in daily use by the Emperor and the Empress." 

Tn spite of the Empress Marie Louise's pressing 
applications to her father, not only were none of the 
stipulations of the treaty of Fontainebleau in the Emperor 
Napoleon's favour, respected, but even his furniture 
and real estate, the property of which had been 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 245 

guaranteed to him or the members of his family by 
the same treaty, were put under sequestration. This 
is proved by the following document addressed to 
King Louis XVIII., and bearing his approval: 

" Paris, Dec. 18th, 1814. 
" Sire, 

" Your Majesty's ministers think that it is necessary 
to put a stop to any further disposal of the furniture and 
real estate belonging to the Bonaparte family, and to preserve 
them, by putting them under sequestration, until such times 
as Your Majesty may have otherwise ordained; they beg 
the King to authorize them to take this measure. 

"(Signed:) Dame-ray, Chancellor of France; Abbe Montes- 
quiou, Ferrand, Louis, Count Beugnot, Marshal Due de 
Dalmatie, Blacas d'Aulps, Francois deJaucourt. 

"(Approved, and signed) Louis." 

On April 12th, which was the last day spent by 
Marie Louise in Orleans, M. de Bausset had arrived 
very early in the morning, bearing a letter from Napoleon 
which he had taken as he passed through Fontainebleau, 
and a letter from Prince Metternich. M. Regnault de 
Saint-Jean d'Angely had not been able to reach his 
destination. MM. de Saint-Aulaire and Bausset, having 
proceeded to Paris had not found the Emperor Francis 
there. They handed their letters to Prince Metternich 
who had just arrived in Paris and had alighted at the 
house of Prince Schwarzenberg where these gentlemen 
had gone to await him. 

M. de Metternich answered the Empress from Paris, 
on April 1 1 th, as follows : 

" That MM. de Saint-Aulaire and de Bausset had handed 
him the letters which she had written to her august father, 

246 mkxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

the Emperor; that having arrived in Paris during the course 
of the day he had made haste to forward them to their 
lofty destination; that he should have the honour of furnish- 
ing her on the morrow with fresh proofs of the Emperor's 
solicitude for herself and the King of Rome; that he had 
preceded H.I.M. so as not to be foreign to the arrange- 
ments which were being negotiated with H.M. the Emperor 
Napoleon; that, as soon as this arrangement was signed, he 
should have the honour of sending her somebody; that he 
was, however, able to assure her in advance of an independent 
existence to which her august son would succeed; that it 
would be superfluous to assure her that the Emperor took the 
greatest interest in her,' and of the satisfaction with which he 
would receive her at his palace; that the most suitable 
arrangement would be that she should betake herself for the 
time being to Austria with her child, whilst awaiting the time 
when she should have the choice between the place where the 
Emperor Napoleon might be and her own residence; that in 
this wise the Emperor would have the satisfaction of drying 
the tears which she had only too much reason to shed ; that 
she would be at peace for the time being and free to act as 
she pleased in the future; that she would take with her the 
persons in whom she reposed the greatest confidence; that 
the Emperor would be here in two or three days." 

M. de Metternich adds: 

"That what he tells her concerning her journey to Austria 
must be considered as entirely in conformity with the paternal 
desires of her august father; that he cannot beg her suffi- 
ciently to be entirely at her ease as regards the actual safety 
of all touching her; that she has often deigned to give him 
her confidence, and that she should not do less in the crisis 
of the moment, and that he gives her an assurance which is 
l).is< <1 on an entire knowledge of the state of things." 

When Prince Metternich arrived in Paris, all had 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 247 

been decided and even carried out between the allied 
sovereigns and Prince Schwarzenberg ; the latter was 
as anxious to break the family ties and the marriage 
bond as he had been assiduous in the work of forming 
them. M. de Metternich had contented himself with 
ratifying all that had been done, and Lord Castlereagh 
had taken upon himself to dispel all his scruples. 

The wish expressed in the Austrian minister's letter 
that the Empress should proceed to Vienna was the 
only sincere one in the letter. The assurance of the 
reversion of the State which should be given to her and 
to her son, and the promise that she would be free to 
choose between the place where the Emperor Napoleon 
w T as living and her own residence, are two statements 
which need not be commented upon. * 

Only a few hours after the reception of this letter, 
Prince Paul Esterhazy and Prince Wenzel-Lichtenstein 
arrived in Orleans bringing with them another letter 
from Prince Metternich, which informed the Empress 
of the conclusion of the arrangement which in conform- 
ity with his letter of the 11th was to give her the 
proof of the Emperor's solicitude for her and for her 
son, that is to say the cession of the duchies of Parma 
and Piacenza. This letter had the further object of 
inviting Marie Louise to come to the castle of Ram- 
bouillet to meet the Emperor of Austria who, on his 
side, was to come there from Paris. 

The Austrian envoys urged on the Empress's depar- 
ture with her son for Rambouillet, and decided her to 

* Napoleon, Francis Joseph Charles, ex-King of Rome, was deprived 
of his hereditary right to the duchy of Parma in 181 7. He received 
in exchange the opera-bouffe duchy of Reichstadt, and was known 
till his death at Schonbrunn in 1832 as the Duke of Reichstadt. He 
might have been living till this day. — R.H.s. 

248 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

set out on the evening of the same day — April 12th 
She only had time to write to her husband the 
Emperor, to inform him of the fresh delay in their meet- 
ing, and to acquaint him with the order which she had 
received to start at once for Rambouillet where she was 
to have an interview with her father. 

At the same time as the Empress announced her 
departure for Rambouillet to the Emperor, this prince 
sent me the following letter dated April 1 2th, at 10 a.m. : 

" How greatly must the Empress have been afflicted with 
the harshness with which she is being treated. The Empe- 
ror sends you a copy of a letter written yesterday by M. de 
Metternich to M. de Caulaincourt. H.M. supposes that M. 
de Saint- Aulaire came straight to you from Orleans with 
tidings. Rambouillet seems rather far off to the Emperor, 
and he further does not see the necessity of going to an 
imperial residence which can but awaken sad recollections in 
the Empress's mind; it is however for the Empress to see 
what it is best for her to do. M. le Due de Vicence has 
not yet arrived with the arrangement; we expect him in the 
course of the day. I will send you a courier at once. What 
seems most suitable is that the Empress, the King of Rome, 
and the Emperor Napoleon should travel all together..." 

Copy of a letter -which the Due de Vicence had just 
received from M. de Metternich, annexed to the preceding 

" I am sending MM. the Princes Esterhazy and Lichten- 
stein to H.M. the Empress Marie Louise, to invite H.M. to a 
meeting with her august father. Rambouillet seeming to us 
the most suitable place for this meeting, I beg your Excel- 
lency to use your best endeavours so that H.M. the Emperor 
Napoleon may also agree to it. Care will be taken to 
neutralize Rambouillet and a suitable space round it. My 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 249 

master, the Emperor, would doubtless see with great pleasure 
that it be you, My lord Duke, who should accompany the 

" Receive, My lord Duke, the assurance of my high consi- 

" Metternich." 

This letter written from Paris was dated, April 
nth, 1814. 

Although M. de Metternich seemed to desire to have 
the Emperor Napoleon's consent to the choice of Rara- 
bouillet as a place for the meeting between the Empress 
and her father, the departure of this princess was so 
hurried on that she left Orleans at the very moment 
when M. de Metternich's despatch to the Due de 
Vicence reached the Emperor. Besides, though Napo- 
leon disapproved of the selection of Rambouillet, his 
disapproval would in any case have arrived too late. 
The apparent consideration of the Austrian Cabinet was 
mere mockery, since it took care to arrange matters 
so as to render all its promises vain words. 

I had received, previous to the letter which I have 
quoted, another letter, dated the same day, at four 
o'clock in the morning; it will be found further on. 

I cannot help saying in this connection that I refuse 
to believe in Napoleon's alleged sentiments of confi- 
dence — sentiments openly professed by himself — in the 
perfidious enemies who were about to separate him 
from his wife and child. It may be that he hoped by 
this attitude to disarm their ill-will against him. * 

* This ill-will was however sufficiently marked. The Emperor of 
Austria had sent a hat adorned with a white cockade to the Count 
d'Artois at Vesoul. The cold and cruel sarcasm, to which the Emperor 
of Austria gave vent, on hearing, in Bohemia, of the reverses experienced 
by the French army in Spain at the battle of Vittoria, is, also, perhaps 
known: "It appears that heat is as much against my son-in-law as cold." 


In any case the Emperor when at the summit of his 
power, displayed more generous sentiments, and did 
not seek to separate husbands from wives and children 
from their fathers. I don't want any better proof of 
this than the following anecdote: 

In 1806, or 1807 I saw a young man arrive at St. 
Cloud. He was a man of elegant figure, of an 
interesting and noble face, and he wore a hussar's 
uniform with a chamois-coloured dolman. It was the 
Hereditary Prince of Wurtemberg who came to thank 
the Emperor for the kindness with which he had been 
treated by him and the good offices which he had 
received from him. This young prince, forced to leave 
his father's court to escape his tyrannical domination, 
had taken refuge in Paris. He frequented with much 
assiduity the house of M. Abel, the resident of the 
Hanseatic cities in Paris, and the charms of the daughter 
of this ambassador had produced so strong an impres- 
sion on the mind of the prince that he thought of marry- 
ing her. A reciprocated affection as much as the 
state of discouragement into which the severity of 
the sovereign of Wurtemberg had thrown him, had 
prompted the heir to the throne to take this resolution. 
Napoleon, having been informed of the position in 
which the Prince of Wurtemberg found himself in 
Paris, had invited him to come and see him. He 
received him with kindness, gave him paternal advice, 
and even charged his treasurer to supply him with the 
funds of which he might stand in need. At the same 
time the Emperor opened a correspondence with the 
King of Wurtemberg with a view to recalling this 
prince to more tender feelings towards his son. He 
succeeded in inducing the king to reconcile himself 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 251 

with his son and to restore him to his good graces. 
The Prince Royal, protected by the ascendency which 
the Emperor naturally exercised over the princes who 
owed their elevation to him, returned to Stuttgart, 
where the King agreed to forget what had happened. 
He afterwards lived with his father on fairly good 
terms and succeeded to his throne in 18 16. 

I continue my narrative with the quotation of an- 
other letter: 

" FONTAINEBLEAU, this 1 2th of APRIL, 1814, 

at 4 o'clock in the morning." 
" The courier bearing your letter of yesterday, referring to 
the Due de Cadore's mission, has just arrived. I immediately 
forward you the answer dictated by the Emperor. 

" It appears that the Emperor of Austria has arrived in 
Paris. He will be very badly received by the people who 
are indignant at his treatment of the Empress; he will propose 
to see his daughter at Rambouillet. The Empress would 
accordingly be obliged to travel twenty-five leagues. It is for 
her to decide what to do; but after such harsh treatment it 
seems that she will gain nothing by this interview. If the 
Emperor of Austria really wishes to see her, she might send 
him word to come to within eight or ten leagues of Orleans, 
her health barely allowing her to go so far. Besides, 
Caulaincourt has not yet arrived, we only expect him in the 
course of the day and the Emperor will then write again. 
You are now aware that Parma has been given to the 

" The Emperor still thinks that it would be best for the 
Empress to travel with him by short stages. She might stay 
at Parma or at Piacenza or at some mineral water station 
in Italy. The Emperor thinks that nothing could be better 
for the Empress's health than to be with the Emperor, and 
he thinks that Corvisart will share this opinion." 

2 52 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Doctor Corvisart obstinately insisted upon the waters 
of Aix in Savoy, and maintained that no others would 
be suitable, but that, on the contrary, they would injure 
the Empress's health. 

These letters and the letter of the same day sent 
off at ten in the evening and containing the copy of 
the treaty signed on April i ith, reached me at Orleans. 
I made haste to communicate the treaty to the Empress 
and to forward to King Joseph the articles concerning 
the members of the Imperial family. These left for 
Switzerland directly afterwards. Madame (the Emperor's 
mother), King Louis, and Cardinal Fesch had left Orleans 
the day before to proceed to Italy. Queen Julia, 
Joseph's wife, returned to Paris with her children. 
These princes and princesses had taken leave of the 
Empress on the day before their departure. 

Marie Louise leaving Orleans at eight o'clock in 
the evening reached Rambouillet the next day at 
twelve, exhausted with fatigue. At Angerville she 
fell in with the Russian troops. It was here that the 
Imperial guard, which was escorting the Empress, was 
dismissed and proceeded thence to join the Emperor 
at Fontainebleau. General SchouwalofF, who accom- 
panied the Empress on this journey, took an escort 
of twenty-five Cossacks who accompanied us to Ram- 
bouillet. The avenue and the interior of this castle were 
guarded by Russian soldiers. 

The Empress entered by the park ; but she could 
not help seeing the foreign uniforms. Russian sentinels 
were posted at all the gates. On arriving there she 
had reason to regret the haste with which she had 
been forced to leave Orleans ; she learned that the 
Emperor of Austria was only to arrive in Paris on 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 253 

the 14th, and that he would be unable to come to 
Rambouillet before the 1 6th ; but the allies were no 
doubt aware of General Cambronne's march with the 
two battalions of the Imperial guard, with which he 
arrived at Orleans on the day after the Empress's 

This princess spent two days in Rambouillet, guarded 
by the Russians, and anxiously awaiting her father's 
arrival. He arrived on the 16th, accompanied by 
Prince de Metternich. In the morning of the day she 
was in a continual state of excitement, and the future 
appeared to her eyes only in the gloomiest colours. 
Informed of the approach of the Emperor she went to 
receive him at the door of her palace, followed by 
her son who was conducted by Madame de Montes- 
quiou, and certain officers and ladies of her household. 
The Empress, deeply touched, snatched up her son 
and threw him, weeping, into the arms of her father, 
to whom in a grievous tone she said some words in 
German. The Emperor embraced his grandson ; but 
the young prince seemed very indifferent to this sign 
of tenderness ; he looked at his grandfather's long 
grave face with astonishment. When they were taking 
him to see his grandfather, he had said : " I am going 
to see the Emperor of Austria ! " When he returned 
to his apartment, he said : " I have just seen the 
Emperor of Austria. He is not good-looking." The 
precocious intelligence of the poor fatherless child 
revenged itself in a very gentle manner, by this 
innocent epigram, for the harm which his grandfather's 
weakness had caused him. He had grasped the fact 
that this important person, whose name and whose 
presence created so much stir, was one of the principal 

254 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

authors of his mother's anguish and tears and the cause 
of all the fuss that had been made round about him 
since he had left the Tuileries ; he used to say that 
Bliicher was his greatest enemy ; that Louis XVIII. 
had taken his papa's place and was keeping back all 
his toys, but that he would "jolly well" have to give 
him back both his papa and his toys. Madame de 
Montesquiou's prudence removed from the child's mind 
whatever might have excited a dangerous irritation in 
him ; but a word overheard as it passed, in the midst 
of his sports, without his appearing to understand it, 
fixed itself in his young imagination. 

The Empress was anxious to find herself alone with 
her father ; she accordingly barely took the time to 
introduce the various persons of her household who 
were with her, to him, and passed rapidly into her 
apartment with the Emperor Francis. — In the effusion of 
their common emotion, the father and the daughter 
embraced each other several times, shedding tears. 
The little prince was sent for. The Emperor never 
wearied of admiring him, and said that it was truly 
his blood that flowed in his veins. He told his daughter 
that he would take his grandson under his protection 
and would be a father to him. He also told her 
amongst other things that everything that had been 
done in Paris had been done without his consent, 
because fatality had willed it that he should be detained at 
Chanceaux, near Dijon, by the movements of the French 
army, without being able to communicate with Prince 
Schwarzenberg. One must after all give the Austrian 
sovereign and his minister the credit of having acted with 
a feeling of propriety in not sanctioning by their 
presence the dethronement of the mother and the son. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 255 

From this day forward the Empress and her son 
became the wards of Austria. Two battalions of infan- 
try and two squadrons of Austrian cuirassiers replaced 
the Russian guards. The Russian sentinels were 
relieved by Austrian grenadiers, two cuirassiers being 
posted at the principal entrance to the palace. 

Since the fatal letter of April 8th, which had caused 
me such keen anxiety about Napoleon's person, the 
terrible impression which I had felt had gradually been 
effaced from my mind. I had received, as has been 
seen, several letters from Fontainebleau which showed 
me that the Emperor was occupying himself with his 
affairs with his usual clearheadedness. The Grand 
Equerry, Due de Vicence, and Colonel Montesquiou 
came in turn to Rambouillet and told me the first 
news I had had till then of the sad event which I had 
only suspected and feared. Marie Louise, on her side, 
was, I believe, a long time in ignorance of the Emperor's 
attempt against his own life; in any case she never 
spoke to me of it. 

In the night of April nth, Napoleon, whose mind 
was so strongly tempered, had yielded to an access 
of discouragement and had tried to accomplish the 
sinister project which it seemed evident to me had 
preoccupied him since the 8th. The overthrow of all 
his hopes and of the illusions to which he in vain 
essayed to cling, the ruin of the magnificent edifice 
which he had built up with so much trouble, but 
above all the consciousness of the implacable hatred 
of his enemies, who as long as he should live would 
be an insurmountable obstacle in the way of his son, 
excited to the highest degree the bitterness of his cruel 

256 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

sorrows. He bent beneath the terrible blow which 
struck him down. 

But Providence would not yet permit the sacrifice 
of his life, to which he was inclined. She reserved 
him for other trials and for an end which was to add 
to his past glories. This end was to be that of a great 
man in the hands of adversity, mastering it with supreme 
dignity and calm. 

This is what is certain about this painful attempt at 
suicide. I have related that during the retreat from 
Moscow, on November 18th, 18 12, the army passing 
the night at Doubrowna an alert which was thought 
to have been caused by the Cossacks took place in 
the morning. I added that wishing to prevent the 
misfortune of falling into an ambuscade, Napoleon had 
asked Yvan, his doctor in ordinary, to give him a sachet 
of poison of which he could make use to preserve 
himself by death from an odious captivity. The Emperor 
was fortunately not obliged to take recourse to this 
extreme measure at that time. — On his return to Paris 
he removed the black taffeta sachet, in which the poison 
had been placed, from his neck, and deposited it in 
one of the boxes in his travelling-bag where it remained 
until 18 14. At the time of his great paroxysm of 
discouragement Napoleon remembered this sachet. One 
day, after having consulted Yvan on the various means 
of putting an end to one's life, he drew out the 
sachet in question before the doctor's eyes and opened 
it. Yvan, terrified by this action, seized part of its 
contents and threw it into the fire. It appears that on 
the morrow, a prey to the blackest thoughts, despaii 
seized upon the Emperor's mind. Napoleon rose, without 
summoning anybody, diluted the rest of the poison in 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 257 

a goblet, and swallowed it ; what remained of this 
lethal substance was no doubt insufficient in quantity 
or had been too much diluted to cause death. On 
April nth, 18 14, towards eleven in the evening the 
silence of the palace of Fontainebleau was suddenly 
disturbed by the sound of groans and the noise of 
comings and goings. The Dues de Bassano and de 
Vicence, and General Bertrand rushed to the Emperor's 
side, whilst Yvan himself was sent for. Napoleon was 
stretched out on a sofa in his bedroom, with his head 
leaning on his hands. He addressed himself to Doctor 
Yvan : " Death will have nothing to do with me. You 
know what I have taken. " Yvan, dumbfounded, troubled, 
stammered, saying that he does not know what H.M. 
means, that he gave him nothing; at last he loses 
his head altogether and rushes out of the room to 
throw himself into an arm-chair in the adjoining room, 
where he has a violent fit of hysterics. 

Napoleon passed a fairly quiet night. On the mor- 
row Doctor Yvan, M. de Turenne and others presented 
themselves at the Emperor's levee and found him 
almost recovered from this violent moral and physical 
shock. He was calm, deeply sad, and deplored the 
unhappy state in which he was leaving France. As 
to Doctor Yvan, still troubled by the scene of the 
previous night, and under the impression of the terror 
with which it had filled him, his mind was made up to 
remain no longer in the palace. And so, on leaving 
the levee, he rushed down into the courtyard, and 
finding a horse tied to one of the gates, jumped on 
its back and galloped away. 

The Emperor of Austria spent the night at Ram- 
bouillet and left on the morrow at nine o'clock in the 


morning for Paris, after having taken leave of the 
Empress Marie Louise. What happened during this 
interview? With what object did Metternich accompany 
his sovereign? What revelations were made to Marie 
Louise? What secret reasons were given to her to 
decide her to go to Vienna and to remain there till 
she could go to Italy, instead of awaiting this moment 
in the Island of Elba? Did they think fit to reveal to 
her the resolution which they had taken of separating 
her from her husband ? These are questions, the answers 
to which may be conjectured but which can with 
difficulty be solved. The Empress's respect for her 
father, who expressed his keen desire to have her for 
some time in Vienna, naturally influenced this princess, 
as well as the prospect of being sent at an early date 
to take possession of the States which were promised 
to her, and where she would enjoy complete liberty. 
She thought that she would then be free to divide her 
time between her new residence and the Island of 
Elba. However this may be the emotions to which 
events so extraordinary, which had followed on each 
other with such rapidity, had subjected this princess, 
had sensibly injured her health and plunged her into 
the deepest melancholy. The happiness of having seen 
her father again under the sad circumstances in which 
she found herself had not diminished her affliction. 
She used frequently to withdraw to her chamber and 
there, with her elbows on her knees and her head in 
her hands, she would give w r ay to all the bitterness of 
her thoughts, and shed bitter and abundant tears. 

Already on the morrow Count Trautmansdorff, the 
Grand Ivpicrry of the Court of Austria, came to 
R.imbouillet to settle the details of the journey to 


Vienna. The Russian General Schouwaloff left Ram- 
bouillet to betake himself to Fontainebleau, having 
been appointed to accompany the Emperor on his 
journey to Elba. He was replaced by the Austrian 
General Wroleck. Tne Due de Vicence, the Count 
de Flahaut, and several ladies, amongst others Mesdames 
de Lucay and de Plaisance, came to take leave of the 

On the 19th the Emperor of Russia arrived at 
Rambouillet and lunched with the Empress. This visit 
seems to have been forced upon her by the Emperor 
of Austria, this princess at least complained bitterly 
of having been obliged to submit to it. Nothing could 
cause her greater pain than to be forced to receive the 
Emperor Alexander at that time — with whatever care 
she had dried her tears and had composed her features. 
The King of Prussia's visit followed on that of the 
Emperor of Russia, two days later. These princes 
could not help knowing that Marie Louise was well 
aware of the part they had taken in the overthrow of 
the empire. It must have been a poor satisfaction 
for them to see the abasement of a woman whom they 
had involved in the ruin of her husband and of her 
son. It is said that the object of this step was to 
mask the true feelings of this victim of an odious 
policy and to arouse the belief that she had renounced 
of her own free-will to make common cause with the 
Emperor, and that she separated herself from him to 
throw herself into the arms of his enemies. If such were 
not the motives of the visits of the King of Prussia 
and of the Emperor of Russia it must be admitted that 
their visits to Marie Louise, under such circumstances, 
gave a great appearance of truth to this opinion, especi- 

260 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

ally on the part of the Emperor of Russia. It con- 
trasted strongly with that magnanimity and that delicate 
appreciation of the proprieties which people have been 
pleased to attribute to him. 

This prince made very ardent offers of service to 
the Empress and begged her to apply to none but to 
him. He asked to see the King of Rome whom she had 
had no intention of showing to him. The Czar went 
to the young prince alone, and saw him in the company 
of Madame de Montesquiou. The sight only inspired 
him with cold compliments. The King of Prussia 
arrived at Rambouillet in the afternoon of the 22nd, 
and only spent a few minutes there. He also expressed 
a wish to see the King of Rome. This interesting 
child was considerably bothered by these visits; he 
saw very well, in spite of his tender years, that these 
visits were not prompted by any feeling of interest in 
him and that he was only the object of an indiscreet 

I received, with regard to these visits, a letter from 
Fontainebleau, dated April 1 8th at five in the morning. 
Here are some extracts from it: 

" It is inconceivable that the Emperor of Austria should 
not have seen the indecency of bringing the King of Prussia 
and the Emperor of Russia to Rami o.iillet, especially at a 
time when the Empress was ill. 

" The Empress must try to go to the waters at once since 
this is the season. 

" The Emperor is pleased to hear that you will accompany 
the Empress. H.M. wishes you to take every opportunity 
of sending him information of her." 

I communicated this letter to the Empress. She 
disapproved of the visits of the foreign sovereigns as 


much as the Emperor, but it was then no longer in 
her power to undo them. 

Napoleon left Fontainebleau for the Island of Elba 
on April 20th, at nocn, accompanied by the Russian 
General, Schouwaloff, the Austrian General, Koehler, 
Count Truchsess-Waldbourg, a Prussian officer, and 
the English Colonel, Campbell, after a memorable and 
touching scene, in which he took leave of his eagles 
and of the brave officers and soldiers of his old 


The Arrival at Rambouillet of the Austrian Staff, Which is to Conduct 
the Empress to Vienna — Verification of the Monies from the Emperor's 
Treasure Which had been Deposited in the Empress's Carriage — Arrival of 
this Princess at Grosbois — She Spends Two Days in this Chateau with Her 
Father — My Visit to M. de Talleyrand — Revolution in Italy — Retreat of 
Prince Eugene— Definite Departure from Grosbois to Vienna — Journey 
Across France — Solemn Reception at Dijon— Stay at Bale — Excursions in 
the Neighbourhood — Entry into Tyrol — Enthusiasm of the Inhabitants— Bad 
Accident at Innsbruck — Alarm of the Bavarian Employes — Saltzburg — Visit of 
the Princess Royal of Bavaria — Arrival at Schonbrunn — The Empress's 
Situation on Her Return to Austria — Her Reception at the Hands of Her 
Family — Order of Service in Her Household — She Separates Herself from 
Her Lady of Honour, and from Some French People Who had Accompanied 
Her — Presence in Vienna of the Queen of Sicily, Her Grandmother— Her 
Good Advice to tire Empress — Plans for New Sicilian Vespers — The Empress 
of Austria's Interested Attentions — Marie Louise's Visits and Excursions 
in Vienna — She Goes to Meet Her Father on His Return from France 
— She Receives Him in the Stage House — Comparisons — Solemn Entry of 
the Emperor of Austria into Vienna — Marie Louise's Obtains Authorization 
to Go to the Waters of Aix in Savoy — She is Put Under the Care of an 
Austrian General Officer — The Empress's Agent not Recognized at Parma 
— MM. Paer and Isabey — The Emperor of Austria's Audience in the Room 
Which had Served as Cabinet to the Emperor Napoleon — The Empress Receives 
Letters from the Emperor — Letters from General Bertrand Dated from 
Frejus and Porto-Ferraio — Particulars About the Stay in the Island of Elba — 
Marie Louise's Leavetaking of Her Family — The King of Rome is Left to 
the Care of Madame de Montesquiou — Departure for Aix — Doctor Frank 
is Charged with the Young Prince's Health — Supper at Munich — Stay at 
Berne— Arrival at Aix — The Empress is Received There by General Neip- 
perg — Portrait of This General — General Neipperg was Born a Frenchman — 
The Empress Finds Her Paris Friends at Aix — 1 Spend the Period of the 
Season with My Family — Letters which I Receive from the Empress Marie 
Louise — This Princess's Good Feeling — She Asks the Emperor of Austria for 
Permission to Go and Establish Herself in Parma — The Empress Leaves 
Aix — Her Resignation — Reflections — Marie Louise's Journey in Oberland 

— I See this Princess Again at Secherons Near Geneva — An Officer 
Coming from the Island of Elba Brings Her the Emperor's Invitation to 
Go to the Island of Elba — My Journey to Prangins — 1 Meet King Joseph 
and the Queen There — Portrait of King Joseph — Rectification of a Mistake 
Made by King Louis at Payerne — Napoleon's Letter to His Brother Joseph 

— My Stay in Berne — The Empress Returns from Her Journey in 
Grindelwald — I Go to Meet Her at Thun — Death of the Queen of Sicily — 
The Empress Spends Two Days in Berne — She Meets the Princess of 
Wales There— The Child Austin — A Day is Spent with This Princess— Marie 
I . e's Excursion in Switzerland—] Precede This Princess to Vienna — Visit 
to the Ruins of the Castle of Hapsburg — New Order of Knighthood — 
Reflections on the Occasion of Her Passing Through Braunau — This Princess's 
K< tui 11 t<. SchOnbrunn — The Sover- signs Re-united in Vienna — The Empress's 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 263 

Retired Life — Commencement of the Festivities — Enormous Expense Met 
by the Court of Austria — The Empress Assists at One of these Fetes Incognito 
— She Receives the Visit of the Foreign Princes and Princesses in Turn — 
Prince de Ligne — Prince Lambesc — The King of Rome and His Uncle the 
Archduke Francis — Change in the Sentiments of the Viennese with Regard 
to the Empress — The Archduke Rodolph — Journey of the Two Emperors to 
Buda — Apparent Inaction of the Congress — Opposition of Spain to Marie 
Louise's Claim to Parma — Apparent Abandonment of Her Rights by the 
Emperor of Austria — Project of Indemnifying Her by the Cession of Fiefs 
in Bohemia — It is Suggested to the Empress that She Should Separate Her 
Cause from That of the Emperor — Active Steps and Officious Care Taken 
by Count de Neipperg — The Progress He Makes in Marie Louise's Confi- 
dence — The Mistrust Inspired by the French who Followed Her — Count de 
San Vitale is Presented to Marie Louise as Her Grand Chamberlain — Support 
Promised by the Emperor Alexander — Informal Visit of Lord Castlereagh 
to Schonbrunn — The Possession of Parma Seems Assured to the Empress. 

ON April 22nd, after the King of Prussia's short visit, 
Major-General Kinski, accompanied by his adjutant, 
Count Desselbrune, Count Eugene Wrbna, son of the 
Grand Chamberlain, Taffe, chamberlain, and Karaczai', 
staff officer, appointed to accompany the Empress Marie 
Louise, arrived at Rambouillet, and provided for the 
arrangements of the journey. At the same time care was 
taken to verify the amount of the sums which had been 
placed in the Empress's carriages on her departure from 
Orleans. The amount was found to agree with the 
Treasurer's balance sheet. I had the chests fastened up, 
and in conformity with injunctions contained in the 
Emperor's letter I took the keys of these chests and 
handed them to the Empress together with the audited 
balance sheet. This princess recognized the good effects 
of the foresight which had induced me to insist upon these 
resources being put at her disposal, and she was good 
enough to express her satisfaction. She then assembled 
for form's sake Generals Caffarelli and Fouler, MM. de 
Saint- Aignan, Bausset, and myself to discuss the ways 
of regulating the administration of her household. We 
separated without having regulated anything. MM. 
Caffarelli, Fouler, and Saint-Aignan were to return to 


France after having conducted the Princess to Vienna. 
They refused to assume any responsibility. I urged 
M. de Bausset in his capacity of Prefect of the Palace 
to charge himself with the registration of all the larder 
and other expenses. The Empress, who seemed to 
wish to abdicate all authority in this matter, approved 
of this arrangement. I for my part wished to have 
nothing to do with the handling of monies, and I had 
every reason to applaud myself for having taken this 

Rambouillet was the last Imperial residence which 
Marie Louise inhabited. She left it never to return to 
France again, making her way to Vienna. She stayed 
one day at Grosbois where the Emperor of Austria was 
expecting her. This prince received her as she was alight- 
ing from her carriage. Prince de Wagram, in order to 
place his principal house at the disposal of Marie Louise 
and her father, had retired with his wife and chil- 
dren to Marolles, a small chateau adjoining Grosbois. 
M. de Montesquiou, the Grand Chamberlain, was there 
with them. Prince de Wagram came to Grosbois to 
present to the Emperor of Austria some officers and 
ladies in waiting of the household of the Emperor Na- 
poleon and of the Empress. Marie Louise received 
these people, who had come from Paris to take leave 
of her at Grosbois. When the last of them had with- 
drawn, the fallen sovereign felt herself in a state ot 
isolation which warned her that the last bond which 
attached her to France had been severed. 

During the Empress Marie Louise's stay in Ram- 
bouillet and Grosbois I travelled to Paris several times 
to carry out various orders which this princess had 
given me. In the course of one of these excursions 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 265 

I had the curiosity to go and see Prince de Benevent. 
He charged me to express to the Empress his regret 
for what had happened as concerned herself and her son. 
He said that all combinations had had to fail before the 
fact of Napoleon's existence; that if the Emperor had 
died all would have been easy; but that as long as 
he lived his abdication would have been mere 
sham ; that if the regency had been adopted and the 
son of the Emperor had been acknowledged, his father 
would have come back and would have put himself 
back in his place. After this scantily disguised con- 
fession of his conduct and of a perfidy which did not 
seem to trouble him in the least, M. de Talleyrand 
spoke to me of my personal position. He tried to 
dissuade me from following the Empress. He said 
that I had nothing to gain in leaving the country, that 
I should have no reason to regret staying in France, 
and accepting an order of things which was irrevocably 
established. As I persisted in silence M. de Talley- 
rand changed his attitude and appearing to disavow 
these indirect efforts, told me amongst other things 
that he had but little part in the distribution of offices, 
that till then he had not yet been able to get appoint- 
ments for capable persons whom he wished to serve. 
He mentioned to me M. de Remusat * whom he had 
not yet been able to appoint to a prefecture. He 
added that when the Bourbons had no other money 
they distributed written promises of posts amongst 
their partisans. These promissory notes were to be 
met on their restoration. When this unhoped-for time 
arrived he for his part was assailed with demands 
from people who presented him letters which promised 

* M. de Remusat was only seventeen years old at the time. — R. H. s. 


them posts in his department. It seemed to me as 
far as it was possible to read this impenetrable man's 
mind that he would have preferred the Regency to the 
Restoration, if Napoleon's death had allowed him to 
take the direction of affairs into his own hands. Some 
years later I had occasion to meet M. de Talleyrand 
at the Salon, or annual exhibition of pictures. He came 
up to me, although I tried to avoid him, and said to 
me in an ironical tone : ■ You have seen finer salons* 
than this. Have you not? " 

Before commencing the account of the Empress 
Marie Louise's journey to Vienna I must revert to the 
state of things in Italy. In consequence of the deser- 
tion of the King of Naples the Viceroy of Italy had 
concentrated his forces on the Mincio, and had established 
his headquarters at Mantua. The Vice-queen had 
joined him there, and gave birth on April 13th to 
her fifth child. When the Vice-queen left Milan a 
coterie was already secretly agitating against French 
domination. General Pino, who had been Minister of 
War, abandoned the French cause at the same time. 
The Austrian General, Neipperg, who three months 
previously had signed the treaty against France with 
the Neapolitan minister of foreign affairs, presented 
himself at Prince Eugene's headquarters accompanied 
by the Count de Wartemberg, aide-de-camp to the King 
of Bavaria. This officer carried a letter from the king 
inviting his son-in-law to abandon so desperate a cause, 
and follow his own example. General Neipperg also 
acquainted the Viceroy of the occupation of Paris 

* A pun on the word salon, which in a general sense means drawing* 
room, and in special application the annual Exhibition of Pictures in 

J'. Ml-. K. II. S. 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 267 

by the allied troops and of the dethronement of the 
Emperor. Prince Eugene answered these communi- 
cations with these noble words : " I understand nothing 
about politics, but simple good sense in default of 
every other feeling shows that the only thing to be done 
under these circumstances is to unite the French and 
Austrian forces and to march upon Paris, there to protect 
the rights of Marie Louise, and of her son." Such 
w T ere certainly not the intentions of General Neipperg. 

On the morrow, the 17th, Prince Eugene concluded 
a convention with Marshal Bellegarde for the return 
of the French troops to their country. Whilst these things 
were going on news of the Treaty of Fontainebleau 
arrived, a treaty by which Napoleon abandoned all his 
claims to Italy. This was followed by the news of 
his abdication. These two pieces of news excited 
terrible fermentation in the Peninsula. On April 20th 
an insurrection broke out in Milan in the course of 
which Prina, Minister of Finance, was killed with um- 
brella blows. Prince Eugene's position in Italy was 
not long tenable. On April 25th he left Mantua with 
the Vice-queen, who had hardly recovered from her con- 
finement, and proceeded by way of Verona to Munich. 
There he found letters from his mother which called 
him away, and having left his wife in Munich he 
proceeded immediately to Paris. 

On April 25 th the Empress Marie Louise, who had been 
styled Duchess of Parma, but who continued to wear her 
first title, received the farewell of her father who was 
returning to Paris to dine at the house of the Count 
d'Artois, and then proceeded on her journey which was 
not to be interrupted any more. Marie Louise was accom- 
panied by Mesdames de Montebello and Brignole, by 

268 MKXEVAL'S memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

General Caffarelli, by Barons de Saint- Aignan, Bausset, 
and myself. The Prince of Parma who had lost the title 
of King of Rome was accompanied by his noble 
and faithful governess Madame de Montesquiou, who 
had refused to separate herself from him, and by 
Madame Soufflot. We travelled under the guard of 
the Austrian General, Count Kinski, and his staff. On 
the way from Grosbois to Provins we passed Austrian 
and Cossack camps. The country presented a desolate 
aspect. Swarms of horses let loose in the fields were 
destroying all hopes of a harvest. The Empress wrote 
to the Emperor from Provins. I posted her letter 
and mine at Provins to the care of General Bertrand. 
These letters reached their destination and were received 
at Porto-Ferraio on May 25 th following. We saw the 
same spectacle of devastation on the way from Paris 
to Troyes, which had saddened our departure from 
Grosbois; the country ravaged, villages burned, and 
the little village of Nogent nothing but a heap of 
ruins. There were not two houses standing intact. 
Brick chimneys alone were standing. The Empress 
lodged at Troyes at the house of M. de Mesgrigny, 
father of the Emperor's equerry, and father-in-law of the 
under-governess of the King of Rome. We arrived at 
Dijon on the evening of the 28th, after having slept 
at Chatillon, the city of sinister memories.* 

General Giulay, military governor of the district, 
General Fresnel, and several other Austrian generals 
and superior officers received their master's daughter. 
All the Austrian troops were under arms and lined 
the streets of Dijon. General Giulay had given orders 

* On account of the failure of the Congress, between Napoleon and 
the allied forces, opened here in February, 1814. Chatillon was also 
the birthplace oi Marshal Marmont- R. u. s. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 269 

that the cannon should be fired and the city be illu- 
minated. Fortunately the Empress, informed in time, 
was able to escape this surfeit of untimely homages. 

The Austrians affected to pay great honour to their 
sovereign's daughter; it was to the Archduchess and 
not to the Empress that these manifestations of defer- 
ence and respect were addressed. Marie Louise arrived 
in Bale, escorted by a detachment of Swiss cavalry 
which received her at the frontier, and she entered 
into this city between rows of Austrian and Bavarian 
troops. The house which she occupied had been inhab- 
ited by the Emperor of Austria; care had been taken 
to prepare her lodgings, all the way, in the same 
houses where her father had lived. Fearing lest the 
journey might tire her son, and anxious to escape 
the importunate marks of respect with which she was 
pursued, Marie Louise decided to rest a day in Bale. 

The courier whom the Empress had despatched from 
Rambouillet to Fontainebleau, brought her back a 
letter from Napoleon dated from Frejus on April 28th. 
The Emperor had embarked for the Island of Elba 
the same day, at Saint-Raphael. I received by the 
same courier two letters from General Bertrand, 
also dated the 28th. These letters aroused in Marie 
Louise's heart regret for not having joined the Emperor 
in Fontainebleau; it was a secret sorrow, a kind of 
remorse which often manifested itself, in- spite of the 
efforts which she made to hide her feelings. The 
view of the picturesque sites and the various sights 
afforded to the eyes by a journey through Switzerland 
were not sufficient to divert her from this pre-occupa- 
tion. At Schaff hausen the Empress saw the Falls ot 
the Rhine under their various aspects; in Zurich she 


rowed out on the lake. — M. de Lebzeltern, the Austrian 
charge d'affaires at the Diet during the absence of 
the ambassador, asked to be presented to her with 
the representatives of Russia, Bavaria and other mem- 
bers of the diplomatic corps; but Marie Louise refused 
to receive them, alleging her incognito as the reason 
of this refusal. She stayed twenty-four hours at 
Constance, made an excursion on the lake, and paid 
a visit to the island of Meinau. At Waldsee, she 
lodged at the chateau of the prince, who presented 
his wife, who was about to be confined of her seven- 
teenth child, and his daughter, canoness of a chapter 
in Salzburg, to the Empress. Marie Louise's melan- 
choly had increased during her sad journey through 
our desolated provinces and the Austrian States. Her 
nights were disturbed by painful fits of sleeplessness, 
and her face was often steeped in tears. After one 
of these sleepless nights, one day in the Tyrol, she 
said to me with tears in her eyes that she had lacked 
in resolution in Blois and that no reason ought to 
have delayed her departure for Fontainebleau. A praise- 
worthy but useless regret, wiiich time perhaps has 
not altogether effaced. The guides which the Emperor 
Francis's solicitude had given to his daughter, faithful 
to their instructions, neglected nothing to awaken in 
Marie Louise's mind the remembrance of her German 
fatherland. -In France and as far as the Swiss frontier, 
they had surrounded her, as we have related, with 
homage and honours, but when this princess entered 
Tyrol, the demonstrations of popular enthusiasm knew 
no limits. At Fuessen, at Reitti, at Innsbruck and as 
far as Salzburg, the delirium was universal. 

The inhabitants of the villages rushed in crowds 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 271 

to see the daughter of their well-beloved sovereign 
go by. Songs were heard all along the road, echoed by 
troops of singers placed for the purpose some distance 
away. The Tyroleans excel in open air concerts per- 
formed without instruments. At Fuessen, mortars were 
fired; at Reitti, no sooner had the Empress's carriage 
been seen from afar, than twenty Tyroleans, carrying 
ropes, rushed to meet it, unyoked the horses and 
dragged it to her house. During dinner, a troop of 
men and women sang verses in her praise outside 
her windows. On the morrow at seven o'clock, a 
Capuchin monk, followed by two or three young people, 
entered the passage which led to the princess's apart- 
ment and sang a number of songs with his companions 
before the door of her chamber. 

Snow had been falling all the morning but this did 
not slacken the ardour of the Tyroleans. All the way 
from Reitti to Innsbruck, the inhabitants of all the villages 
were under arms, singing national anthems in chorus, 
saluting with flags and firing off mortars as soon as 
they saw the carriages. They saw in the Empress an 
Austrian princess only. Perhaps not one of these men 
who indulged in such noisy joy knew that she had 
reigned over France as the wife of the Emperor Napoleon. 
At Innsbruck, where she arrived at eight in the evening, 
she found the city illuminated ; she was received there 
with the same transports and her carriage was dragged, 
or rather carried to the chateau, where she alighted. 

The crow T d was so great that two men and a child 
were crushed to death at the gate of the town. The 
Bavarian functionaries were awaiting the Empress at the 
foot of the grand staircase of the chateau and seemed 
to place themselves under her protection. The poor 


Bavarians who held public offices in Tyrol were dying 
to get away, considering that their lives were not safe 
in the midst of this popular excitement. Their author- 
ity, however, was exercised in a moderate and liberal 
manner. The vivacity of the attachment of the Tyrol- 
eans for the house of Austria, which had been still 
further excited by the pretence of showing them a 
princess of this house, was a warning, given to Bavaria, 
not to think of keeping the provinces in which this 
affection and a hatred for foreigners had such deep 
roots. Tyrol was accordingly given back to Austria 
one month later. 

From Innsbruck where she stayed two days, Marie 
Louise proceeded to Salzburg. The Marshal of the 
Court of the Prince Royal of Bav;iria awaited her at 
the door of the chateau where she alighted. She was 
visited there by the Princess Royal, a very handsome 
woman, at that time about twenty years old, and she 
returned this visit on the following day at the Chateau 
de Mirabelle, where this princess lived. All these 
royal or princely residences were large and spacious. 

The young prince, entrusted to the care of Madame 
de Montesquiou, only saw his mother at the places 
where she stopped. He had forgotten the grief with 
which he had left the Tuileries ; the novelty of what 
he saw amused him and he enjoyed it all in the happy 
carelessness of childhood. 

Having rested a day at Salzburg, the Empress con- 
tinued her journey to Vienna by way of Moelck. 
Prince Trautmansdorff, Grand Equerry, came to receive 
her there and to ask in the name of the Empress of 
Austria, who was coming to meet her, by what road 
she proposed to travel. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 273 

She met the Empress of Austria between Saint- 
Polten and Siegartskirchen, at a distance of four leagues 
from Vienna. The Empress of Austria gave up her 
carriage to Madame de Montebello and Countess La- 
zanski, former Grand Mistress of the Archduchess 
Marie Louise, and entered the latter's carriage. The 
same evening the Empress arrived in Schonbrunn, the 
destination of her journey. The princes of her family, 
uncles and brothers, had come there from Vienna to 
receive her. Her sisters were awaiting her at the door 
of the apartment to which she was conducted by the 
Empress of Austria. The young Archduchesses threw 
themselves on her neck as though she had just escaped 
from some danger and they were glad to see her safe 
and sound. 

Marie Louise had returned to Vienna in about the 
same position as when she had left it four or five years 
previously, with bitter remembrances to boot, fallen 
from the lofty rank which the policy of the Austrian 
Cabinet had temporarily bestowed upon her, and decoyed 
with the enjoyment of a principality which she was to 
purchase with the most painful sacrifices. When she 
had been destined to become Napoleon's wife, 
her father, the Emperor, had said, in taking leave of 
her : " Be a good wife, a good mother, and render 
yourself agreeable in everything to your husband." 
Austrian politics had mentally added : " as long as he 
is powerful, happy, and useful to our house." Marie 
Louise, on the throne on which Napoleon's choice and 
the eager consent of her father had placed her, had 
docilely obeyed her father's orders. There had never 
been anything to blame in her conduct as a wife. If 
it had been the destiny of the Empire to survive its 


disasters, she would have left behind an honoured 
memory, after having given the example of private 
virtues, equal to those of the wife of Louis XIV. or the 
wife of Louis XV. As Empress, either from self- 
love or from a sense of duty she had seemed to take 
pride in the prosperities of the Empire. She had not 
shown herself indifferent to our misfortunes. She 
tolerated no machinations against the safety and the 
repose of France. In the days which preceded its 
agony, she was the zealous and straightforward inter- 
mediary between the Emperor and her husband, but 
she had never identified herself with her adopted 
country. Passive, a stranger to politics, contemplating 
with terror the sight so new to her of party struggles — 
not having resided in France long enough to contract 
ties of any strength there, she did not take in our 
misfortunes that active and passionate part which induced 
Anne of Austria and Marie Antoinette to make the 
cause of the country in times of trouble and danger, 
their personal causes. She had renounced her new 
country without much opposition, to take refuge in her 
family as a harbour where she would be sheltered 
from new storms. Imbued with the impressions which 
she had received in early youth, with the idea that 
the interest of the house of Austria cannot be weighed 
in the balance with any other interest, when her 
father said to her, in Schonbrunn, after her return : 
"As my daughter all that I have is yours, even my 
blood and my life; as a sovereign, I do not know 
you," she could but bow her head and confirm the 
irresistible force of such an argument by her silence. 
This saying of the Emperor Francis would justify the 
popular prejudice which attributes to the Austrian 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 275 

princesses, a fatal influence on the destinies of France. 

Marie Louise's family received her with all the 
outward signs of cordiality. The Empress of Austria 
and the other Archduchesses had come to reside in 
the palace of Schonbrunn to receive her and to live 
with her. During the first days, numerous visits were 
exchanged amongst these princes and princesses and 
interminable conversations were indulged in. The 
Empress divided the rest of her time between her son, 
whose apartment adjoined her own, and the French 
persons who had accompanied her during her journey 
but who were to leave her after a short stay. Comte 
de Lobau, who had been kept a prisoner in spite of 
the capitulation of Dresden, came to Schonbrunn and, 
spent two days there before continuing his journey to 
Paris. He left on June 29th; the 30th was the day 
fixed for the departure of the Duchess de Montebello. 
This separation, which was extremely painful to the 
Empress, was tempered only by the hope of seeing the 
Duchess again at the springs of Aix. MM. de 
Saint- Aign an and Corvisart, who left with the Duchess 
de Montebello, also took leave. On the morrow 
General Caffarelli, in his turn, left for France. These 
successive departures revived the pain which the Empress 
felt in losing persons whose fidelity and devotion she 
had been able to appreciate. She handed the noble 
and loyal Caffarelli a small morocco pocketbook, which 
she had used, and wrote some friendly words on the 
first page. 

On the day after Marie Louise's arrival at Schonbrunn, 
she settled the order of service of her household; but no 
particular regulations were laid down. She even wanted 
to banish all etiquette and realize her pet dream of a 


private life. She refused to live in common with her 
family and preserved her domestic independence. She 
used to lunch and dine at her usual hours, at eleven 
in the morning and seven in the evening, with Countess 
Brignole, M. de Bausset and myself who alone remained 
w r ith her. 

She used to invite, in turn, a small number of per- 
sons of her family, ministers and their wives, gentle- 
men and ladies of the Emperor of Austria's household, 
and certain persons holding high rank or dignities in 
the State. The reception accorded to us in this court 
differed for each of us, but we were not treated as friends. 
Generally speaking we had reason neither to complain 
of, nor to praise the reception which was given us. 

The Empress stayed about six weeks in Vienna, 
awaiting the return of the Emperor of Austria, who 
was to bring her the authorization to go to Parma 
and to the island of Elba. One of the consolations 
which she enjoyed during this first stay in Schonbrunn 
was the society of the Queen of Sicily, her grandmother, 
whose sincere attachment and vigorously expressed 
opinions, though they rather frightened her, helped to 
comfort her. This princess, the last daughter of Maria 
Theresa and sister of Marie Antoinette had arrived in 
Vienna at about the same time as Marie Louise. 
Unable any longer to support the authority which the 
English had arrogated to themselves in Sicily, she 
had escaped from their yoke, secretly making her way 
from Palermo and braving the dangers of a dangerous 
sea-voyage, had come to interest her son-in-law the 
Emperor in the restitution of the Kingdom of Naples. 
She had made up her mind to see each sovereign in 
private and not to slacken her assiduities until she 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 277 

had obtained King Joachim's expulsion. Her enter- 
prising character and her tenacity gave some trouble 
to the Austrian Government, which on her side she 
accused of egotism. This queen, who in the days of 
Napoleon's prosperity had been his declared enemy, 
and whose opinion in consequence could not be accused 
of partiality, professed the highest esteem for his great 
qualities. Hearing that I had been attached to him 
as secretary she sought me out to speak of him. She 
said that formerly she had reasons to complain of him, 
that he had persecuted her and hurt her feelings 
" for I was fifteen years younger at the time " ; but 
that to-day that he was unhappy she forgot all. She 
could not check her indignation at the sight of all the 
manoeuvres which were being made to sever the bonds 
which were the glory of her granddaughter and to 
deprive the Emperor of the sweetest consolation which 
could be his after the immense and cruel sacrifices 
which had been wrested from his pride. She added 
that if they were prevented from meeting, Marie Louise 
ought to tie her bedsheets to her window and escape 
under disguise. " That's what I should do in her 
place, " she said, " because when a woman's married, 
it's for life." Such an act of boldness, which pleased 
the enterprising spirit of the old queen, was not in the 
scope of Marie Louise's character and contrary to her 
ideas of the proprieties. She was moreover lulling 
herself in the hope of being soon placed in possession 
of Parma, where she would be her own mistress and 
able to go where she pleased. Marie Louise used 
frequently to visit her grandmother; the old queen 
resided in the small chateau of Hetzendorf which was 
reached by one of the avenues of the Schonbrunn 


park. She gave her granddaughter advice, which was 
too energetic to please the Empress of Austria and 
the Austrian Cabinet. The Queen of Sicily, having 
found a portrait of Napoleon enriched with diamonds, 
whilst looking over the contents of Marie Louise's 
jewel-case, urged her granddaughter to wear it. More 
ardent than Marie Louise in the expression of her 
feelings, she said one day to her lady-in-waiting that 
it did not suffice to wear this portrait on the breast, 
that it must also be worn in the heart. And finally 
the excellent princess showed a great liking for Napo- 
leon's son and loaded him with caresses. 

The kindnesses which were bestowed on Marie 
Louise, by her step-mother and the Court of Vienna, 
masked a design to get possession of her mind, to 
confine her in the midst of her family, and to seek to 
guide her conduct and all her actions. They began 
to express doubts on the possibility of the journey to 
Aix, although she had obtained the Emperor's consent 
to this plan. They spoke of a chateau ;n Hungary 
where she could pass the summer very agreeably, and 
which she could inhabit during the time that the allied 
sovereigns were in Vienna, where they had fixed a 
meeting for the middle of July. It was thought that 
it might be disagreeable to her to be too near a city 
in which the congress was being held and that the 
sight of it would but cause her pain. If she absolutely 
needed a cure, why go to Aix? The Carlsbad waters 
or other springs in Germany might suit her state of 
health. Besides there would be the advantage of her 
not being too far away from her family. She was 
even made to fear that something might arise which 
would prevent her establishment in Parma. These 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 279 

hints troubled the Empress; but she clung to the idea 
of going to Aix, because her father had promised her 
that after the season at the springs she would be at 
liberty to proceed to Parma directly. Another reason 
was that she had appointed to meet Madame de Monte- 
bello, whose absence she much regretted, at Aix. 
Her recollections of France and the Emperor had an 
attraction for her at the time. 

The Empress seemed to see, as in a glass, darkly, 
through the worrying to which she was subjected, the 
secret intention to separate her from Napoleon. She 
blamed herself then for having too much believed in 
the impossibility of joining him, and for having placed 
too much confidence in the promises which had been 
made to her. It must be added that the Emperor in 
his letters, kept speaking of plans for their coming 

These vexations in some degree disturbed the calm 
of the peaceful life which Marie Louise was leading in 
Schonbrunn. She devoted her mornings to her son; 
she drew, played, and studied Italian, a knowledge of 
which would be necessary to her in her new States. 
Madame de Montesquiou used to bring in the young 
Prince of Parma at the end of luncheon. The young 
prince's treat was what he used to call " the nice dish" ; 
it was generally one of the hundred kinds of cakes 
which are to be seen on every table in Austria. 

In the afternoon Marie Louise used to mount on 
horseback or walked out in the beautiful gardens of 
Schonbrunn, every building in which she saw again 
with pleasure. 

In the first days of her arrival Napoleon's wife was 
the object of the curiosity and interest of the people 

2 So mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

of Vienna. During her drives in the city, her carriage 
was followed by a silent crowd anxious to catch a 
glimpse of her. On the first Sundays, the gardens of 
Schonbrunn were the general meeting-place of the 
inhabitants of Vienna, who in their respectful whisper- 
ings seemed to congratulate Marie Louise on her 
return amongst them and admired the beauty of her 
son's face. 

On June 15th the Empress left Schonbrunn early in 
the morning to go and meet the Emperor of Austria. 
She stopped at Siegartskirchen, two stages from 
Vienna where the Empress of Austria and the Empe- 
ror's children had preceded her. She received her father 
in the same room in the stage-house in which, in 1805, 
Napoleon had received the deputation which presented 
him with the keys of Vienna. 

The remembrance of the scene which I had witnessed 
nine years previously, retraced itself in my mind with 
curious vividness. I saw once more the glorious victor, 
before whom Count Zinzendorf and the magistrates 
of Vienna bent down low, presenting him on a silver 
tray the keys of the haughty capital of Austria. I 
saw once more the faces and the attitudes of the 
deputies recommending their city and its inhabitants 
to Napoleon's generosity. So strongly had this hallu- 
cination seized upon me that involuntarily I closed my 
eyes. How different the sight that met my eyes to- 
day. In the place of the victorious soldier, whose 
proud attitude was tempered by a feeling of natural 
generosity, I beheld a princess, almost on her knees, 
with wet eyes, bending before a sovereign who raised her 
up witli a gesture half of pride and half of tenderness. 
This princess was the wife of Napoleon, and the sove- 


reign who to-day proscribed her husband was the same 
who formerly at the bivouac of Sar-Uchitz had implored 
the clemency of the French Caesar. * 

Marie Louise accompanied the Emperor Francis, alone, 
in his carriage to the last stage. On arriving there, 
she left him, as she was anxious to get to Schonbrunn 
a quarter of an hour before him, so to be able to 
present his grandson to him on his arrival. An 
extraordinary crowd of people from Vienna and the 
surrounding districts filled the road, the avenues of 
the park, and had even invaded the outer rooms of 
the palace. 

The Austrian monarch left Schonbrunn on the morrow 
to make his solemn entry into the Austrian capital. 
He was on horseback, accompanied by the Archdukes, 
his brothers, preceded and followed by his guard at 
the head of which marched Prince Lambesc, who was 
styled Prince of Lorraine in Vienna, captain of the 
first guard of archers, Prince de Ligne, captain of 
halberd-bearers, and Prince Esterhazy, captain of the 
Hungarian guard of nobles. *The uniform of the latter 
as well as the harness of his horse were covered with 
pearls and diamonds of considerable value. According 
to the custom, there was perhaps not one street 
through which the Emperor and his procession did 
not pass to the acclamations of an immense crowd. 
This march through the city lasted five hours and 
terminated at the Metropolitan church of St. Stephen, 
at the door of which the Archbishop of Vienna harangued 
the Emperor Francis, who was afterwards present at the 
Te Deum. The Emperor of Austria had been advised 
to make his entry into Vienna on an Arab horse which 

* The Emperor Francis certainly never did anything of the sort. — R. H. S. 

282 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

had been used by Napoleon, and which had been 
brought to Paris with the Empress's equipages, but 
he had the good sense to refuse this kind of triumph. 

The Austrian sovereigns returned to Schonbrunn 
on the morrow and remained there until the departure 
of the Empress Marie Louise to the waters at Aix. Whilst 
granting her permission to undertake this journey, it 
was impressed upon her that it was necessary that in 
the future there should be at her side a person destined 
to act as her adviser and as a go-between between her and 
the Austrian Cabinet. The Emperor had selected Prince 
Nicolas Esterhazy. This person's rank, age, and prudence 
justified this selection, but the Vienna Cabinet caused 
Prince Esterhazy to be replaced by General Count 
Neipperg, who was commanding a division of Austrian 
troops in Pavia and who was ordered to proceed to Aix. 

The Austrian General, Count Nugent, having taken 
possession of the Duchy of Parma in the name of the 
sovereign, Marie Louise had sent an agent to obtain 
first information as to the state of affairs in the country 
and its situation. This agent no doubt did not meet 
with the favour of the Austrian authorities who treated 
the Italian provinces like conquered territories. Badly 
treated, badly received, and even locked up in gaol, the 
Duchess of Parma's envoy only secured his liberation 
by means of the pressing appeals made by this princess 
to her father, the Emperor of Austria. 

When Marie Louise had been of opinion that she 
would be free to proceed directly to Parma, she wished 
to take with her two celebrated artists from whom she 
was receiving lessons. They themselves had asked to 
go. One was M. Pacr. Born in Parma he was pleased 
with the prospect of going to end his days in his 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 283 

native country ; a feeling of gratitude engaged him to 
follow the fortunes of his royal pupil, and to go and 
establish himself in her new States. He had been 
loaded with kindnesses by the Emperor who after the 
victory of Jena, had brought him to Paris with his 
wife to attach both of them to the palace musical 
service, with large salaries. He had been appointed 
director of the court theatrical performances and master 
of singing to the Empress. He had succeeded Spontini 
in 1 81 2 in the management of the Italian Theatre. 
Hardly had the negotiations for his establishment in 
Parma been begun than he was appointed director 
of the concerts to Louis XVIII. , to which post he 
afterwards added that of director and composer of 
music to the Duchess of Berry. The other was 
M. Isabey. The Empress was accustomed to the 
drawing lessons of this skilful and witty artist. She 
liked him very much and was much pleased with his 
good-natured humour. He was moreover the friend 
of Corvisart, and was protected by the Duchess de 
Montebello, in whom Marie Louise had great confidence. 
Isabey, in going to settle in Parma, wished to find 
there compensations for the advantages which he lost 
in leaving Paris. His pretensions appeared too great 
to the Empress who was no longer rich enough nor great 
enough a sovereign to satisfy them as she would have 
wished to have done. "And besides," she did me the 
honour of writing to me, "even were he to come for 
nothing, I should never allow myself to take him 
without first having obtained the Emperor's consent. 
You know how he objected to him and I must respect his 
prejudices, for though I am separated from him I am none 
the less responsible for my conduct to my husband." 


The Emperor of Austria had deigned to receive 
Madame de Brignole, M. de Bausset and myself. He 
received us with kindness and prolonged a conversation 
in which no political questions were raised, for some 
time. The Emperor above all spoke with satisfaction 
of the paternal forms of his government and of the 
intimate, almost family, relations which existed between 
the different provinces and the hereditary States. He 
told us amongst other things that it had sometimes 
happened that the harvests in various parts of his her- 
editary states having been insufficient, cities wanted 
grain, that he then sent them corn from his private 
estates carried on his own carts and that these cities 
paid him it back after the harvest of the following year. 
It seemed to me that I was listening to a patriarch of 
primeval days speaking of his patronage and protection 
of his tribe, and not to the chief of a great empire, dis- 
coursing on the forms of government of his vast states. 

A circumstance connected with this introduction 
struck me. The room in which the Emperor Francis 
received us was the same which had been used as 
Napoleon's cabinet in 1805 and 1806. This cabinet, 
filled with souvenirs of a great queen — Maria Theresa, 
decorated with her statue and portraits of her de- 
scendants, had re-echoed with the severe words of 
Napoleon against the persons of the court whose in- 
fluence tended to alienate the heart of his subjects 
from their sovereign. The picture which the Emperor 
of Austria drew of the good harmony which existed 
between his peoples and himself, and his solicitude for 
their needs seemed to be in protest against the re- 
proaches which the Emperor Napoleon had addressed 
to him. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 285 

During the five weeks which the Empress spent in Vien- 
na at the time of this first journey she received several 
letters from the Emperor Napoleon, one through General 
Koehler on his return from the island of Elba whither 
he had accompanied the Emperor in the capacity of 
Austrian commissioner; the others enclosed in letters 
from General Bertrand to myself. Marie Louise an- 
swered them punctually. She even took advantage of 
the departure of a former courier, called Sandrini, to 
whom Countess Brignole had given a letter of recom- 
mendation, to the island of Elba, to write to Napoleon. 

These are General Bertrand's letters written to me 
by order of the Emperor or dictated by the latter : 

" His Majesty has received your letter and read the par- 
ticulars it contained with interest. He desires the Empress to 
make the state of her pecuniary affairs known, as otherwise 
the Emperor, her father, may think that she has large 
resources, whereas as a matter of fact she has nothing. You 
will find annexed a note which the commissioners have 
consented to take; the Empress might speak in conformity 
therewith." (This note refers to the seizure of the Em- 
peror's treasure and personal belongings at Orleans.) 

" I had written you a line this morning fearing that the 
Emperor might not write to Her Majesty, because we have 
to start early, but the departure has been put off on account of 
the wind having failed us. The Emperor has vomited a 
little bile; you know that this indisposition only lasts a few 
hours. At the time of writing the Emperor is in wonderful 
health. He has just written to the Empress. 

" Please receive, etc., etc. 

"(Signed) Bertrand." 
" Frejus, April 26th, 18 14, 6 o'clock in the evening." 

286 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

"I receive your letter at the moment of starting for the 
island of Elba. The weather is fine; and we hope to arrive 
there in less than two days. We had a very sad journey, 
as you may imagine, fairly good throughout almost the whole 
of France; but in Provence, we were exposed to insults 
which fortunately had no consequences .... You can imagine 
that we are very anxious that the Empress should come and 
divide her time between Parma and the island of Elba. It 
would make an enormous difference to the Emperor and to 
all of us ; we should be happy to see her now and again : 
she was so kind to my wife and to myself that nobody 
desires it more than I do. Lay my homage at her feet, my 
respect, and my devotion. The Emperor has always been 
in very good health in spite of the cruel position he has been 
in during the last month. He handed his answer to the 
Empress to General Schouwaloff's aide-de-camp who is pro- 
ceeding to the Emperor of Austria. As this letter will not 
be carried there directly, the Empress may perhaps be anx- 
ious at receiving no answer. I hand my letter to the courier, 
so that you may be informed of the early arrival of the 
Emperor's answer. You will hardly be able to read my 
writing; but I am in a great haste and my heart is so full 
that I hardly know what I am writing. My sentiments are 
none the less for you what, as you know, they have been 

for a long time. 

" (Signed) Bertrand." 

"Frijus, this 29th April, 1814, at 7 a.m." 

" General Koehler is leaving the island of Elba and will 

probably go to the Empress. He will thus be able to give 

you particulars about our island, which is puttier than we 

thought. It is in a good state of cultivation; the heat is not 

ssive. The Emperor will be fairly well lodged. His 

health is excellent. Please present my respects to the 


" (Signed) Bertrand." 

" Porto- Kir raio, this Qth May, 1814." 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 287 

"I have received your letter from Provins of April 26th. 
The newspapers have informed us of H.M.'s visit to Schaff- 
hausen. She must have arrived in Vienna on the 16th. I 
have delivered the letter which was enclosed in yours. — 
The Emperor wished to answer the Empress through the 
under-ofhcers Schopff and Hertlieb who are returning to join 
General Koehler; but the Emperor is out riding and the ship 
is under sail, so that they are obliged to go off without the 
Emperor's letter. I regret it very much. 

"The Emperor is very happy here and seems to have 
forgotten that only a very short time ago he was in such a dif- 
ferent position. He is very busy getting his house into order, 
furnishing it, and looking out for the site of a pretty country 

"We often speak of our excellent Empress. The officer 
of the guard whose wife is in H.M.'s service, and who had 
the honour of presenting his respects to her at Dijon has just 
arrived, and gave us your news. 

" I repeat, etc., etc. 

" (Signed) Bertrand." 
" Porto-Ferraio, this 27th May, 1814." 

" We have heard no news of you since the letter which 
you wrote to me from Provins on leaving Paris. We learned 
by the newspapers that the Empress had arrived in Vienna 
on May 18th. 

"The Emperor continues in good health. We ride and 
drive and boat a great deal. The Emperor's house has 
already been greatly improved. We are busy arranging 
different residences for him in various parts of the island. 

" We are anxious to receive news as early as possible of 
the health of the Empress and her son. The heat is beginning 
to make itself felt. Please lay my respects at the feet of the 

"(Signed) Bertrand." 
"Porto-Ferraio, June 25th, 1814." 


" I received your letter of June 4th, a few days ago and 
yesterday your letter of June 21st. 

" Since the letter you wrote me from Provins I had had 
no news of you. Your letter of the 4th contained two letters 
from the Empress to the Emperor, numbered 5 and 6. The 
preceding ones have not been received. Your letter of the 
21st contained another for the Emperor; his answer is being 
sent off to-day. Communications not being yet re-established 
H.M. wrote but little. I imagine that you will soon receive 
one or two letters which I have written to you. I know 
that there is a letter from you which I shall no doubt receive 
very soon, under way. 

" If the Empress awaited the answer to her letter in Vienna, 
the Emperor wishes- her not to go to Aix, and if she has 
already gone there, not to pass the season there but to 
return to Tuscany as quickly as possible, the waters there 
being the same as in Aix. These springs are nearer to us." 

"We have learned from the newspapers that M. Marescalchi 
was commissioner to Parma for the Emperor of Austria. If you 
see General Koehler remember us to him. He is an excellent 
man and we have nothing but praise for his conduct towards 
us. You are thanked for the details which you give us 
about the King of Rome, they interested us greatly. 

" May the Empress's health soon be re-established. We 
often speak about all concerning her. I need not tell you 
with what interest we read all that you send concerning her 
occupations and her way of living. I am asking General Rospi- 
gliosi to send you this letter by a courier. Receive, etc. etc. 

"(Signed) Bertrand." 
" Porto-Ferraio, July 3rd, 1814." 

" I have received your letter of June 6th, in which you 
inform us of your departure from Schtmbrunn. We read of 
your journey through Switzerland in the papers; we are sur- 
prised to receive no news of you. The Emperor expects the 


Empress for the end of August and wants her to bring his 
son with her. H.M. has certainly written much more 
frequently to the Emperor; but her letters are probably 
intercepted by some secondary agent's orders, or perhaps by 
her father's command. At the same time nobody has any 
rights over the Empress and her son." 

"Madame has arrived in good health. She has already 
taken up her abode in her house; although the house is not 
a handsome one, she has plenty of room and certain com- 
forts .... The Emperor is wonderfully well. Our amusements 
are always the same; certain occupations during the day; 
in the evening excursions on horseback, in our carriages, or 
in a boat. The heat has been felt for some days past but 
the mornings and evenings are cool. I presume that you 
have received the letter that I wrote you by return of the 
Grand-duke's courier in which I informed you that my 
letter of the 9th was the one that I entrusted to General 
Koehler, which was handed to you. My wife who has arrived 
safely saw M. Marescalchi in Genoa. Madame Brignole's 
family were all well. 

"(Signed) Bertrand." 
"Porto-Ferraio, this 9th August, 1814." 

" P.S. The officer who was to take this letter to you has 
left without coming to my house. I take advantage of M. 
Hurault's departure to send it to you. He is very anxious 
to see his wife again. We hope to see you in the month 
of September when H.M. has finished taking the waters." 
"This 20th August." 

The day on which the Empress was to leave for 
Aix was approaching. As the young prince w T as not 
to accompany his mother on this journey she sent 
for Doctor Frank, the Emperor of Austria's doctor, and 
charged him with the care of her son's health 


during the child's stay in Vienna. She wrote to the 
doctor on this matter officially. 

Napoleon's son, left under the vigilant maternal care 
of Madame de Montesquiou, remained accordingly with 
her in Schonbrunn. This young prince, whose birth 
had been hailed with so many blessings in our country, 
and who seemed destined for so lofty a future, was 
not to leave Austria where he had found a prison for 
a refuge, whilst awaiting the tomb which was to open 
so prematurely for him. 

Two days before the Empress's departure, the Emperor 
Francis went to the Baden baths with his family. These 
baths are situated at a distance of four leagues from 
Vienna in a pretty valley called Saint Helena. Marie 
Louise went to take leave of him, and on her return 
received almost the entire court which came to take 
leave of her. An indisposition of Madame de Brignole's, 
which had at first' given us some anxiety, but which 
fortunately had no consequences, delayed our departure 
twenty-four hours. The Empress of Austria came to 
Schonbrunn after dinner to say good-bye to her step- 
daughter and only left her after having put her into 
her carriage. 

The Empress Marie Louise assumed the name of Duchess 
de Colorno for this journey, Colorno being one of the 
pleasure-houses of the Duchy of Parma. She travelled 
without stopping till we reached Morsburg where we 
found M. de Bausset, who had preceded us, ill with 
the gout. She stayed one day in this town. The road 
which she was following obliged her to pass through 
Munich. She found the viceroy and the vice-queen 
"I Italy waiting for her at the stage-house and they 
took her to sup with them. Madame de Brignole and 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 291 

myself, untidy as we were in our travelling costumes, 
followed her. We supped at the viceroy's palace 
with the Princess Royal of Wurtemberg, sister of the 
vice-queen. This princess, after her separation from the 
husband whom Napoleon's politics had bestowed upon 
her, had come to seek comfort with her sister. Provi- 
dence held a splendid reparation in store for her, by 
placing her a year later on the Imperial throne of 

Having continued her journey by way of Berne, 
Payerne and Chamounix, Marie Louise reached Aix 
on July 17th. She was received at Carrouge by 
General Neipperg who came to meet her on horseback, 
saluted her at the door of her carriage and accompanied 
her to Aix. This was the second time that she saw 
him. The sight of him created a disagreeable impres- 
sion on the Empress, which she did not dissimulate. 

Count Neipperg was not, it must be said, particularly 
well favoured. A black bandage covered the deep 
cicatrice of a wound by which he had lost an eye, 
but this disadvantage disappeared when one looked at 
him attentively. This wound rather suited the ensemble 
of his face, which had a martial character. His hair 
was of a light blonde colour, scanty and curly. His 
glance was bright and penetrating. His features were 
neither vulgar nor distinguished ; taken altogether they 
betokened a clever and subtle man. His complexion, 
full-coloured on the whole, lacked in freshness, it was 
marked with the impress of the fatigues of war and 
his numerous wounds. He was of the middle height, 
and well-built, and the elegance of his figure was 
heightened by the loose cut of the Hungarian uniform. 
General Neipperg was at that time about forty-two 


years old. This man played so important a part in 
Marie Louise's life and exercised so great an influence 
on her destiny that I must try and explain what were 
the qualities with which he won her confidence. His 
general appearance was an amiable one, mingled with 
alacrity and gravity. His manners were polite, insinuating 
and flattering. He possessed agreeable talents, and 
was a good musician. Active, clever, possessed of 
little scruple, he knew how to conceal his acuteness 
under an exterior of simplicity. He expressed himself 
and wrote with grace. He added to much tact a 
spirit of observation and he knew how to listen, 
listening with studied attention to what was said to 
him. His face would now assume a caressing expres- 
sion, and now his glance would seek to fathom the 
secret thoughts. He was as clever in reading the 
designs of others as he was prudent in the conduct 
of his own. Adding to the outward signs of modesty 
an immense vanity and ambition, he never spoke of 
himself. He w r as brave in war and his many wounds 
show that he had not spared himself. 

M. Armandi, colonel of artillery in the Italian army, 
who acted as minister of war during the troubles in 
Romagna in 18 — has assured me that General Xeipperg 
was in Milan, in 1814, at the house of a lady whose 
lover he was, when he received notice that he had been 
selected to reside with the new Duchess of Parma, 
together with his instructions. His mistress tried in 
vain to keep him back, ambition was stronger in him 
than love. This Italian mistress having asked him what 
he would do with Marie Louise and whether this new 
position would at least bring him more forward, Neip- 
perg is said to have answered: 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 293 

u I hope to be on the most intimate terms with her 
before six months are out, and soon to be her husband." 

To complete these data on Neipperg, I must further 
mention a curious peculiarity of this strange destiny. The 
Austrian general was the son of a Frenchman. Whilst 
Count Neipperg, the putative father of the general, was 
filling a diplomatic mission in Paris, he made the ac- 
quaintance of a French officer belonging to a distinguished 
family. He received him with familiarity at his house 
and Countess Neipperg did not remain insensible to the 
merits of Comte d'H — who repaid her with assiduous 
attention. An intimacy arose accordingly between the 
countess and the young officer and General Neipperg 
was the fruit of it. The proof of this fact lies in a letter 
from Countess Neipperg which was found in the papers 
left by Count H — after his death. This concatenation 
of circumstances will afford a fresh subject of reflection 
to those who admit that fatality always plays some 
part in human events. 

Marie Louise alighted in Aix at a house situated 
outside the town, belonging to a M. Chevalley. It had 
been prepared for her reception by care of M. Ballouhey, 
the intendant of the Empress's household, and was the 
same which Queen Hortense had already occupied. The 
Empress during my stay in Aix only received General 
Neipperg in official audiences. This princess had not yet 
had time to become German again and the presence 
of a few French people who had remained faithful to 
her cause still attached her by some ties to France. 
The Empress found MM. Corvisart and Isabey awaiting 
her at Aix. The Duchess de Montebello did not arrive 
before the beginning of August. I left Marie Louise, 


on the second day after her arrival at Aix to go and spend 
the time of a double season at the springs with my 


The Empress did not neglect means of correspond- 
ing with the Emperor, but opportunities became more 
and more scarce and difficult. She had commissioned 
M. de Bausset with a letter thinking that he would find 
facilities in Parma, where she was sending him, to 
forward it to Elba. 

I extract from the long and numerous letters, written 
to me entirely by the princess herself during the seven 
weeks that I spent in Paris, the passages which depict 
the state of her mind as well as her sentiments towards 
the Emperor. I hope that she w T ill pardon me for having 
published this correspondence during her lifetime. 
However it may be, I am certain that I have not com- 
mitted any abuse with this publication of my commu- 
nications with Parma, and the silence that Marie Louise 
has observed towards me since the revolution of 1830 
prevented me from obtaining the consent from her 
which I should have been glad to be in a position to 
ask for. 

First Letter. 

"August 4th, 1814. 
" I am still expecting an answer from my father to know 
the date of my departure for Parma. I will let you know 
at once. Though I should be very pleased if you would soon 
return to me, still I feel how much you must wish to 
remain a little longer with Madame de Meneval. I am sure 
it is very unselfish on my part to allow you to do so. 
" Your very affectionate 

"(Signed) Louise." 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 295 

Second Letter. 

"August 9th, 18 14. 
"I thank you very much for all the trouble you have 
taken about my boxes. What you write me concerning the 
remarks of M. de Bombelies on this subject does not seem to 
portend much good. I am still in the most painful uncertainty 
as to my future fate. I sent a letter by M. de Karacza'i to 
my father in which I asked him for permission to establish 
myself at Parma on Sept. 10th at the latest. Will this be 
granted to me? I fear not. If my presentiment is wrong 
I will let you know at once so that you can send for Ma- 
dame de Meneval and her children. I know that will please 
you. It will be very hard for you to have to pass the 
winter without having seen them, and I should be very 
sorry for you. If the answer is a negative one I shall 
never consent to return to Vienna, before the departure of 
the sovereigns, and I shall try to have my son back. 
I shall establish myself in Geneva or in Parma whilst 
awaiting the congress; but it is impossible for me to remain 
here after the season is over. I cannot tell you with what 
impatience I am awaiting an answer. I want you to help 
me with your advice in my determination. Do not be afraid 
to tell me the truth if my determination appears inconsistent 
to you. I want your advice as from a friend, and I hope 
you will give me your opinion quite frankly. I have just 
received a letter from the Emperor from the Island of Elba, 
dated July 4th. He begs me not to go to Aix, but to go to Tus- 
cany to take the waters. I shall write about this to my 
father. You know how anxious I am to do what the Em- 
peror wishes. In this case ought I to do it if it is not in 
harmony with my father's intentions? I send you a letter 
from Porto-Ferraio. I was very much tempted to open it. 
It would have given me some particulars. If it contains any 
particulars please let me know them. I thank you very 
much for those you gave me, I wanted them badly, for it 


was a long time that I had been without news. Generally 
speaking I am in a very critical and in a very unhappy 
condition. My conduct has to be full of prudence. There 
are some moments when my head is so troubled that I think 

the best I could do would be to die 

INIy health is fairly good. This is my tenth bath. They 
would do me good if my mind were easier. I shall not be 
happy until I have got out of this fatal state of uncertainty. 
I am very pleased to think that you will soon be here, to 
reason to me, and calm my poor head. I need it badly. 
M. de Bausset left some days ago, taking with him all the 
papers which I wanted to see, so that I have not been able 
to examine all this month's accounts as I had a wish to do. 
I am awaiting the couriers which he sent from Parma with 
impatience. I did not carry out all the extravagances which I had 
planned for the 28th. I had Madame de Brignole to goiiter *, 
but when the moment came for carrying out my plans I was 
afraid that they might not be very successful and so I gave 
them up. I am sure you will laugh at my cowardice. The 
account of my journey which I am writing has only got as 
far as my visit to the Bossons Glaciers. The other day at the 
ball we were speaking about it and about my plan of having 
it printed, and Madame Hurault added : " Yes, with M. de Mene- 
val's little printing press. " Somebody whom she did not know 
said behind her: "M. de Meneval has got a printing press ! 
That is worth knowing." M. Huraultf informed me of this remark, 
and begged me to let you know of it; so that you can get 
rid of your press as soon as possible, or send it to Parma with 
my carriage. I am told that a very heavy penalty is in- 
flicted on private individuals who are detected with printing 
presses. Imagine what it would be in your case who have 
been working so long in the Emperor's cabinet. It worries 

* Gouter is a light repast taken between meals, usually at four or 
five o'clock in the afternoon. — r. h. s. 

-j- M. Hurault de Sorbee, who has since become a general, was accom- 
panying his wife, who belonged to the Empress's household. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 297 

me; I can assure you that I shall not be at ease until I 
hear you have got rid of it. 

" Your affectionate 

"Marie Louise." 

" P.S. My son is wonderfully well and gets sweeter every 
day, according to what they write me. I am very anxious 
to see the poor child again." 

Third Letter. 

"This Aug. 15th, 1814. 

■ I have had no answer yet from my father to the letter 
which I spoke to you about in my last. This uncertainty 
seems to me very cruel and very long. I am awaiting for 
the answer with a great deal of impatience and I will let you 
know about it at once. I have a black presentiment that it 
will be nothing pleasant to hear, but I am in one of my 
sad moods to-day, so maybe I am mistaken. How can I 
be happy on the 15th when I am obliged to pass this feast- 
day, so solemn to me, far from the two persons who are dearest 
to me. I beg your pardon for thus speaking to you of my 
sad thoughts, but the friendship and the interest which you 
have always shown for me embolden me, provided you will 
let me know when I bore you. I beg you to believe in 
my sincere friendship. 

"Your affectionate 


"P.S. I have just received a letter from Parma which informs 
me that M. de Marescalchi has been replaced by M. de 
Magawly, who has just upset the entire Provisional Govern- 
ment. M. de Marescalchi is now nothing but Austrian ambas- 
sador at my court. My father has also appointed M. de 
San Vitale as my grand chamberlain, and that without consult- 
ing me. This grieves and vexes me. M. Magawly said in 


Parma that my father had sent M. de San Vitale to go to 
Vienna to fulfil his functions in my service, and that I should 
be invited to go to Vienna during the whole period of the 
Congress. What a sad prospect! I have half a mind to ask 
him to allow me to spend the winter in Florence, promising 
him to write to the Emperor only through the Grand-Duke. 
It seems almost certain that he will refuse. But about one 
thing my mind is made up. I will not go to Vienna whilst 
the sovereigns are there. Advise me, I beg of you. I 
assure you I am much to be pitied." 

Four tli Letter. 

"This 15th August in the evening. 
" I have just received your letter of August 9th. I am re- 
ally much distressed at the time that letters take to come, 
one gets such old news. I send you a copy of a letter from 
Prince Metternich which will acquaint you with the news 
which M. de Karacza'i brought me. I am very unhappy indeed 
at the idea of being forced to return to Vienna, all the more 
so that no good reason for it is given to me. I do not 
think I shall go to Vienna before the end of September or 
the beginning of October. I shall leave here on Sept. 3rd 
or 4th and shall go to Geneva, and thence to Berne where 
I shall spend a fortnight, besides a week in Geneva, and after 
that I shall go on to Vienna. I am very vexed about this 
on Madame de Meneval's account. If you can bring her to 
Geneva she can follow you after her confinement. If you 
come and share my exile I know how tedious it will be for 
you, at the same time I am too selfish not to desire it. 
I want your advice, I need your conversation. You know 
all the confidence which I have in you. One ol the pleas- 
antest thoughts which I can have just now is the thought 
of keeping you by me. 

"I also send you a letter which came here for M. Amelin. 
Be good enough to send it on to him. As regards the pay- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 299 

master I can promise nothing: less now than ever, for you 
see I am consulted about nothing. I do not think it at all 
right, they ought at least to treat the unfortunate with a 
little delicacy of feeling. The Duchess will tell you a lot of 
things by word of mouth which I cannot write for I am very 
sad, although resigned. The hardest blow will be struck to- 
morrow when I have to say good-bye to the Duchess, but 
I do not complain. I ought to be accustomed to every 
possible misfortune. But what comforts me is the thought 
that there are still some good people who have pity for me, 
and I have pleasure in thinking that you are one of these. 
Begging you to believe in all my esteem and confidence. 

"Your affectionate 
" Louise." 

Fifth Letter. 

"This 20th of August in the evening. 
"I received your letter of the 12th of this month yesterday, 
and I see with pleasure that you received some of my letters, 
but surely you must have received one in which I spoke of 
the wretched answer which my father gave me. I am very 
much touched by your offer to follow me under any 
circumstances whatsoever, and I stand in great need of good 
advice. It is more necessary to me now than ever, and so 
I hope I shall soon have the pleasure of seeing you again. 
I wish you to arrange it so that you will be deprived of 
Madame de Meneval's society as short a time as possible. I 
quite see how sad that would be, and I am afraid she will get to 
have a grudge against me. I have answered my father as well as 
Prince Metternich, and used fine phrases in writing to the 
latter about all the confidence I had in him, and I especi- 
ally insisted on the satisfaction I felt in the promise which 
was given me that I could go to Parma. It appears that 
M. Magawly has made some very good changes and re- 
formed many of the abuses of the Provisional Government. 


I have received long letters from M. de Bausset which I will 
communicate to you when I return. I want to bother you 
with all my affairs. I have received news of the Emperor on 
August 6th. He speaks very well of you and begs me not 
to believe all that may be said against him. He was in 
good health, happy, and quiet, and was thinking greatly about 
my son and myself. 

" Write to me I pray you with great punctuality, and be- 
lieve in all my friendship from 

" Youi very affectionate 
41 Marie Louise." 

I do not want to reproduce too large a number of 
the letters which I had the honour to receive from the 
Empress Marie Louise. The literal extracts which I 
have just given, suffice for the purpose which I had 
before me in quoting them. One month after the 
Empress's arrival in Aix, the Duchess de Montebello, 
MM. Corvisart and Isabey, left this city one after the 
other, the first two to return to Paris. M. Isabey went 
off to Vienna where he was to paint the portraits of the 
sovereigns assembled in the congress. After their depar- 
ture the Empress remained another fortnight in Aix, 
anxiously awaiting the effect of the promises which had 
been renewed to her when she left Vienna. 

The letter from Prince Metternicb which was alluded to 
in one of the letters from Marie Louise, which I have 
re] produced, destroyed some of the Empress's illusions. 
This letter informed her that the possession of the sove- 
reignty which had devolved upon her by the treaty was 
no longer certain and invited her in the Emperor's 
name to return to Vienna, and to put her interests 
into his hands. A letter from the Emperor of Austria 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 301 

contained the same invitation. The Empress, abandoned 
to sad presentiments, losing a hope which she had 
entertained till then of being free to enjoy the inde- 
pendence of which she had dreamt, gave way to a 
new influence which shook the constancy of her at- 
tachment to the Emperor and persuaded her that she 
stood in need of other protection. She grew to think 
that by submission she might be able to remove the 
obstacles which stood in the way of her possession of 
Parma, and she resigned herself to obey orders which 
it was no longer in her power to avoid. General 
Neipperg, placed exclusively in her confidence, and 
who was to be united to her by much closer bonds 
later on, was commissioned to conduct her to Vienna. 
Before continuing this narrative I desire to tarry over 
the first period of the life (still innocent, as I judged it) of a 
princess born with qualities which would have commended 
her to the respect of France, if Nature in endowing her with 
these qualities had added a greater firmness of character. 
Extraordinary circumstances had united her destiny to 
that of a great man. These bonds had been violently 
severed by the selfish and cold policy which had formed 
them, on the day when Napoleon was no longer to 
be feared. The faults into which Marie Louise fell 
must above all be imputed to those in whose hands 
she was the instrument of hatred and revenge. Our 
compatriots, under the influence of recent impressions, 
or of recollections the bitterness of which no revela- 
tions have come to temper, have blamed Marie Louise 
with almost unanimous reprobation. This anathema, I 
can assert, would grieve the Emperor Napoleon were 
he still living. The woman whom he honoured with 
his alliance, to whom he owed some happy days, the 

302 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

mother of his much beloved son, the woman of whom 
he never ceased to speak with generous kindness, who 
was passive but not aggressive towards him, whose 
difficult situation he appreciated, whose long struggles 
he took into consideration, has a right to some indul- 
gence on our part also. Let us reserve our indignation 
for those who have caused and hurried on her downfall. 

I left Paris on September 6th, but in spite of the 
haste with which I travelled I could not reach Geneva 
before the morning of the gth. I proceeded without 
waste of time to Secherons where the Empress was 
living since she had left Aix, and I was received by her 
in an extremely friendly manner. She was just about 
to leave for Berne, and then to undertake an excur- 
sion in the Oberland. Her plan was to visit several 
parts of Switzerland and to prolong her stay so as to 
arrive as late as possible in Vienna. She was good 
enough to ask me to accompany her on her excursions, and 
appointed a meeting at Berne. I had occasion to 
congratulate her on the happy state of mind in which 
she seemed to be. Countess de Brignole, several 
persons of her household, and General Neipperg, who 
had attached himself to her footsteps in order to carry 
out the mission which he had received, were with her at 
Secherons. I saw her a short time at Secherons and 
she put off, until her arrival in Berne, the opportunity 
of speaking to me about a number of things which 
she wished to discuss minutely with me. On leaving 
her I heard that an officer, who is a General to-day, the 
husband of one of her dames d'annonce^ who had arrived 
some days previously from the Island of Elba, had brought 
her a letter from the Emperor. This officer was com- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 303 

missioned to conduct her to the Island of Elba, where 
she was expected, but he left for Paris on the day 
before my return without having been able to fulfil his 

After having rested a day at Secherons I went to 
spend a day at Prangins, an estate situated a distance 
of four leagues from Geneva, on the shores of the 
lake, where the excellent Queen Julia, wife of Joseph 
Bonaparte, had recently arrived with her children. 
I was very anxious to see this noble and virtuous 
family once more. They had received me in my youth 
with very much kindness, and with them I had spent 
many happy days at Mortfontaine. I had not seen 
the Prince or the Princess since I had taken leave of 
them at Orleans. I found King Joseph just as he had 
always been, aimable and unpretentious, returned like 
Cincinnatus to his plough, much more taken up with 
the details of his rustic life and his brother's future 
fate, than with the remembrance of the brilliant and 
stormy career, which he himself had just brought to 
a close. Joseph Bonaparte loved Napoleon as much 
as he had admired him. There existed between the 
two brothers a sympathy which the difference in their 
characters, apart from the bond of fraternity, no doubt 
contributed to strengthen.* Napoleon, a mighty mind 

* Some doubts have been cast on Napoleon's fraternal sentiments 
and his tenderheartedness. The following letter shows how little those 
who judge him thus knew him. It is addressed to Joseph Bonaparte 
and dated Messidor, year III. The original letter bears the trace of 
the tears which fell from his eyes as he was writing it : 

" In whatever position fortune and events may place you, you know well, 
my friend, that you can have no better friend, dearer to you, or more 
sincerely desiring your happiness. Life is a light dream which fades 
away. If you are leaving and you think it will be for some time send 
me your portrait. We have lived so many years together, so closely 
united that our hearts have melted into one. Better than anybody you 


carried on to splendid actions by the sublimity of 
his genius, can be compared to nobody. The glory 
of brilliant enterprises which would not have been 
above his faculties did not tempt Joseph Bonaparte's 
ambition; but he knew how to display in business, 
when once he w T as engaged in it, the activity and 
energy which it demanded. To the negotiations 
which occupied the first period of his political career 
he had brought the lights of a keen and profound 
mind, clear and easy eloquence of discussion, and 
a straightforwardness which was proof against any- 
thing. He displayed the same talents and the same 
qualities in his administration of the two countries 
which he was called upon to govern. A gentle 
philosophy, the qualities of a gentleman, a straightforward 
heart, a noble character would have drawn attention to 
him in any condition of life, and as the Emperor used 
to say, would have made him the ornament of society. 
The difference in the characters of the two brothers is 
characterized by a ^remark which was sometimes ad- 
dressed to me by Napoleon as First Consul, before 
Joseph Bonaparte had consented to take an active part 
in this system. " Why is Joseph with all his talents 
so lazy?" Napoleon applied the term laziness to the 
moderation which kept his brother away from the pompous 
cares and brilliant chains of a rank which is the object 
of the envy of almost all mankind. 

know how entirely my heart is yours. I feci as I write these lines an 
emotion which I have rarely experienced in the course of my life. I 
feel sure it will be a long time before I shall see you again. I cannot 
continue my letter; farewell my friend. 

" Napoleon." 

The sentiments which are expressed with such deep, expansive tender- 
heartedness in this letter which was autographed, never deviated, I 

often saw oi heard the proofs of this. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 305 

King Joseph's wife was a type of goodness. In 
the most fragile frame she hid a strong mind, and 
a lofty reason. Her life was one continued exercise 
of kindnesses. The time she spent on the two thrones, 
(of which she said with very rare philosophy, that the 
woman who comes down from a throne is perhaps 
happier than she who ascends one,) was particularly 
distinguished by the fact that the sphere of her bene- 
volence extended itself more widely. 

This digression has taken me away from my sub- 
ject. I allowed myself to be carried away by the 
pleasure of speaking of my host at Prangins, and of 
seeing friends, whom one is glad to find again, after 
the tempest is over. The time which I spent at their 
house passed rapidly, and I only arrived at Berne 
after the Empress. She had left word for me to follow 
her together with the itinerary of her journey up to 
the 2 1 st. As at the same time she had been good 
enough to give me the choice of remaining in Berne, 
I preferred to do the latter. The Empress was followed 
in this journey by Count Neipperg, and by one of this 
General's officers. Countess de Brignole, and one of 
the dames d'annonce were the only French people who 
accompanied her on this journey. 

On my way from Prangins to Berne I stopped at 
Payerne. Just as I was leaving I was told that a traveller 
who had passed the night in the hotel wished to speak to 
me. I followed the host, who conducted me to a room, 
where I was as surprised as I was pleased to find King 
Louis, who was travelling in Switzerland under the name 
of Count St. Leu. I had not seen him since the marriage 
festivities, not even at Blois, where I had not been 
acquainted with his presence until the moment when he 


had left the town. He was in bed, and was suffering 
greatly from the disease, which had only grown worse 
as years went on. I spent an hour by his bedside. He 
spoke to me of recent events with bitter regret, and 
of his brother with sentiments of true affection. He 
was still under the sad impression of the Emperor's 
attempt on his life at Fontainebleau, and judged the 
immensity of his unhappiness by this desperate action. 
He said that Heaven, which had prevented so great a 
disaster, doubtless reserved him for fresh glories, but 
also for fresh trials. " If Louis XVIII. had killed him- 
self he added, " he would not be to-day in the palace of 
the Tuileries." Count St. Leu was that day a prophet 
without knowing it. He charged me with a letter for 
the Empress, and I left him very pleased with the 
unexpected hazard of this meeting. 

Whilst awaiting the Empress's return I made some 
excursions, having nothing else to do, in the pretty country 
round Berne. On the 21st, which was the day on which 
Marie Louise was to return from the glaciers, in my 
impatience to see her again I went to meet her at Thun. 
I found her well pleased with her journey which according 
to those who accompanied her had been a fatiguing one, 
but she had not suffered much thereby. She was kind 
enough to come and see me at Madame de Brignolc's 
house where I had alighted. I followed her into her 
apartment and she said the kindest things to me 
about my return and the mark of affection which I 
had given her in leaving my family to follow her. 
She spoke to me at length of the difficulties which 
were put in the way of her establishment in Parma, 
and of the bitter regret which she felt at being obliged 
to return to Vienna, where her position during the 


congress would be most equivocal. I spoke to her 
of the Emperor; she said she had received no news of 
him since the arrival of Colonel Hurault, and that she had 
been unable to comply with Napoleon's request that she 
should join him on the Island of Elba without having 
consulted her father, whose intentions must have been 
known to him since reading the letter from Prince Met- 
ternich, which she had sent him. It was Count Neipperg, 
as one may well think, who had pointed out this objection 
to her. Marie Louise had heard, during her journey, 
of the death of the Queen of Sicily, her grandmother, 
who succumbed to a night attack of apoplexy. This 
princess had tried in vain to reach the bell-pull, and 
when she was found in the morning, it was seen 
that her hand was stretched out to grasp it, but had not a 
been able to reach it. So as not to sadden the pleasures 
of the congress with a spectacle of mourning, it was 
decided in a lofty place, that the official notification of 
the death of the Emperor Francis's mother-in-law should 
not be made till its close. Thanks to this fiction, 
which left the dead queen still living, the festivities 
were not interrupted. 

The Empress spent two days in Berne. She received 
the Princess of Wales, who had stayed there to 
see her on her way to Rome where she intended 
to spend the winter, and invited her to dinner. The 
princess seemed to be about forty-five years old at 
that time. She was short and very fat, she had 
large pronounced features, and eyes which rightly 
or wrongly, betrayed some of the adventures which 
were generally attributed to her. Her suite was 
composed of a lady-in-waiting and four officers. I 
admit that I was very curious indeed to see this 

308 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

princess who became historical by the scandal with 
which the English filled Europe, concerning - her and 
the Prince Regent. The evening was of the gayest. 
We had some music with General Neipperg at the 
piano. The Empress asked the Princess to sing, and 
she consented to do so, on condition that Marie Louise 
should sing with her. The Empress said that she was so 
timid that she was unable to bring forth a sound, 
when anybody was listening to her. The Princess 
encouraged her, saying that as far as she was concerned 
she was never frightened except for her friends. As 
a matter of fact, and to tell the truth, she sang with 
a voice of which I will say nothing, except that it 
really showed this princess's courage. One of her plans 
was to go and visit the Emperor at Elba. She was 
travelling with a child about twelve years old which had 
a very pretty face. She had not brought him to the 
Empress's house. This was the famous " Austin " who 
was so much spoken about in the memoirs published 
under her name, memoirs which she publicly disavowed 
as a libellous pamphlet. She said that she did not 
know who was this child's father, but she loved it just 
as much as she loved her daughter. 

She was dressed in an ample white muslin dress 
trimmed with lace ; her head was adorned with a 
large veil, rather like those worn by the priestesses of 
Greek tragedies, which covered her waist, her shoulders, 
and both sides of her bosom. This veil was fastened 
with a diadem of diamonds. She also wore a magni- 
ficent necklace of several rows of pearls and travelled 
in this array. Apart from this, in spite of her figure 
and dress, which frankly might be styled curious, the 
Princess of Wales had the appearance of an excellent 


woman, simple, straightforward and putting everybody 
at his ease. Her lady-in-waiting's figure was not less 
singular than her mistress's. The officers were of very 
good appearance ; one of them was the son of a cele- 
brated Englishwoman, Lady Craven, who married 
the Margrave of Anspach ; the other two were young 
officers of the Prince of Wales's regiment ; the fourth 
was Doctor Holland, who was said to be a very good 

We left Berne to return to Vienna, travelling through 
the small cantons. The Empress was accompanied by 
General Neipperg and his adjutant Hrabowski, Countess 
de Brignole, Madame Hereau and her husband, etc., etc. 
M. de Cussy had returned to Paris ; M. de Bausset 
and Madame Hurault de Sorbee, one of the two dames 
d'annonce who had followed the Empress on her depar- 
ture from Paris, had preceded her to Lindau where 
they were awaiting her with the carriages. 

Marie Louise desired also to visit the ruins of the 
castle of Rudolph de Hapsburg. General Neipperg, 
charged to recall her to the seductions of her native 
land, could not dispense her from a visit to the cradle 
of the founder of the house of Austria. He even de- 
clared that a piece of iron which he found there was 
a fragment of Rudolph's lance. The Empress lent 
herself complacently to this fiction. Little pieces of 
this iron cut up were used for the settings of some 
rings which she had made in Vienna and which she 
gave to General Neipperg, M. de Bausset and myself 
as the insignia of a new order of knighthood and to 
Madame de Brignole as a souvenir of this journey. 
The Empress took so much pleasure in all her excur- 
sions that I had reason to expect that her journey 


would be prolonged. I understood only too well how 
disagreeable her position would have been in Vienna 
to be surprised at this, but I was impatient to get 
there. The necessity of getting the letters which were 
waiting for me in this city, and my interest in their 
contents, made it imperative for me to return ; I was 
moreover of no utility whatever to the Empress. 
After having urged me to continue, she was good 
enough to yield to my arguments, and grant me per- 
mission to go. I left Jier at Schweitz ; but to my great 
surprise she arrived at Schonbrunn three days after 
me, on the feastday of the Emperor Francis, to whom 
she had given me a letter. 

She had made her way to Vienna from Schweitz, by 
Saint-Gall, Constance, Munich, and Braunau. She had 
passed the night 'in the last town, her memory taking 
her back four years, when she had been received there as 
Empress of the French, and when she left it to go and 
take triumphant possession of a throne the glory of 
which she came to share. What feelings must have 
agitated her on finding herself back in this town in so 
different a position! 

She had the pleasure of embracing her son, who had 
remained at Schonbrunn with Madame de Montesquiou. 
The young prince was tender and caressing towards 
her ; he was in a flourishing state of health and had not 
suffered from the slightest indisposition during his 
mother's absence. The Emperor Francis came to see his 
daughter as soon as he had heard of her arrival. The 
Empress of Austria, who was somewhat indisposed by 
the fatigues of the various ceremonies in which she 
had been forced to appear, had remained in Vienna. 
The way in which Count Neipperg had fulfilled his 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 311 

mission was approved of by Their Majesties, for he 
was at once appointed to act as chamberlain to the 
Duchess of Parma during the Congress. 

Marie Louise found all the sovereigns assembled in 
Vienna. The kings of Denmark, Bavaria, Wurtemberg 
and other princes had preceded the Emperor of Russia 
and the King of Prussia there. These sovereigns had 
made their solemn entry into Vienna, on September 
25th, 1 8 14, accompanied by the Emperor of Austria 
who had gone to meet them and followed by the 
whole of his court. The imperial family of Austria 
had received all these sovereigns in a magnificent 
manner. The Emperors and the Kings lodged in the 
imperial palace where they were entertained with the 
most sumptuous hospitality. The expense which the 
assembly of these various princes occasioned to the 
court was enormous. Eifteen hundred servants and 
twelve hundred horses were added to the imperial 
household. Carriages with horses constantly put to 
and saddle horses were at the service of each sove- 
reign and the officers of his household. Each had a 
private table sumptuously served at the Emperor's 
expense. Dinner was served at two in the afternoon, and 
supper at ten in the evening. Splendid fetes diverted 
these noble guests from their political labours, for the 
Congress had not yet been opened at the time of which 
I am speaking. It was only to last a few weeks, to 
settle the interests of the secondary German states, 
the treaty of Paris having vested the great powers with 
the territories which they had adjudged themselves and 
put them in possession of the same. 

The Empress Marie Louise, confined with her son in the 
chateau of Schonbrunn, lived there in absolute retire- 

312 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

ment, a stranger to all the amusements and display 
which surrounded the sovereigns in Vienna. She 
awaited the day when justice should be done to her, 
relying on the faith of a treaty and on her father's 
feelings. Five days after her return to this chateau, 
a fete was given there at which all the sovereigns 
were present. There were drives in open carriages in 
the gardens, a theatrical performance, and supper in 
the orange-house. The Empress remained shut up in 
her apartments all day long, not daring to go out for 
fear of meeting faces whose triumphant expression 
would have contrasted too strongly with the obscurity 
of the position which had been forced upon her. 
Although the sight of the amusements which celebrated 
events which had been so disastrous for her could not 
but afflict her, she had nevertheless curiosity enough 
to enjoy the sight of the court ball incognito, watching 
it through a window let into the attic of the grand 
hall of the palace of Vienna. Four years ago she had 
been the queen of a brilliant fete given in this same 
hall on the occasion of her marriage. The reflections 
which the contrast of her past greatness with her 
present situation awoke in her should have sufficed to 
make her turn her back for ever on such sights. At 
the same time her want of occupation and the need 
of emotions caused by souvenirs, although these were 
importunate, sometimes attracted her back to them. 

Marie Louise was presented to the Empress of 
Russia by the Empress of Austria, and the same time 
returned the visit of the Grand-duchesses of Russia, 
who had called on her at Schonbrunn first, two days 
.liter her arrival. The sovereigns were waiting for 
somebody to break the ice before going to call upon 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 313 

her. The King of Bavaria had said that if the Em- 
peror of Russia would set the example they would all 
follow it. Alexander's gallantry, or rather his vanity, 
had no need of any such stimulus. He came to 
Schonbrunn with the Austrian general, Count Hardegg ; 
the kings and princes followed. 

The Empress received the kings and queens, the 
princesses and princes whom the Congress had as- 
sembled in Vienna, one after the other. She also 
admitted to pay their court the same persons whom 
she had seen before her departure for Aix. Prince 
de Ligne was one of the most attentive. He was an 
old man of eighty, whom time seemed to have for- 
gotten. His straight figure, above the middle height, 
his noble gait, even his Fieldmarshal's uniform and the 
grace with which he used a stick, which he did not 
seem to want for the purpose of support, gave an air 
of distinction to his person. His head was crowned 
with a forest of grey hair, the parasite denizens of 
which used sometimes to stray out on to the chairs 
on which he sat. He had a fine face, but his sodden 
eyes did not betoken the keen wit and power of 
vivacious repartee which won for him a European 
reputation. I remember one of his good sayings about 
the Emperor, whom he described as afflicted with a satyri- 
asis for glory; the saying was in conformity with the style 
of wit in vogue at the Congress. * Prince Lambesc, whose 

* Charles Joseph, Prince de Ligne, was born May 12th, 1735, an 
Austrian statesman and general, witty writer, became a fieldmarshal in 
1808. He died very shortly after the congress alluded to, on December 
13th, 1814, in Vienna. Amongst other works he wrote: Melanges 
militaires, litteraires, etc., published between 1 795 and 181 1 and forming 
a collection of 34 volumes. His "Works" were published in i860 in 
four volumes. The best biography is by Thuerheim, published 
in- 1876. — R. H. s. . 


name is inseparable from the first events of the Revo- 
lution of 1789, used also to come rather often to present 
his homage to the Empress Marie Louise. He used to 
wear long riding-boots, covered with a varnish which 
he asserted that he prepared himself, but the smell of 
which did not say much in favour of his olfactory 
nerves. * 

On her return to Schonbrunn she resumed the mode 
of life which she had followed during her first stay. 
We took our meals, so to speak en faint lie, in dress 
coats and top-boots. Walks, some visits, billiards, 
music were the chief amusements of this familiar coun- 
try-house life. Tuesdays and Saturdays were devoted to 
some invitations, as the Empress wished to be free 
during the rest of the week. She used to leave 
Schonbrunn almost every day at one o'clock to go and 
see her father; sometimes she would take her son 
with her. This young prince was only taken to the 
Empress of Austria on solemn occasions, on feast or 
birthdays. The youngest of the Emperor's sons, Arch- 
duke Francis, whose age most nearly approached his 
nephew's, used to come rather often to Schonbrunn to 
spend a few days with him. Marie Louise met with 
real kindness towards herself and her child only from 
her father and her sisters. The rest of the imperial 
family did not take the interest in the child which was 
due to his age and his position. The Empress and 
her brothers-in-law spoke ot nothing less than making 
a bishop of him; the Emperor was sometimes obliged 

* As to the performances of Lambcsc ( 1 75 I — 1825) see inter alia 
Csrlyle's French Revolution, Chap. IV, Book V: "Will the Bust 
Procession pas& that way? Behold it; behold also Prince Lambesc 
dash forth on i^ with his koyal-Allemaiuls j etc." — r. h. s. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 315 

to force them to keep silence. These hostile sentiments 
against Napoleon and his son were shared by a crowd 
of subaltern agents and writers whom the sharing of 
the spoils of the French Empire had attracted to Vienna, 
and found an echo in a certain class of Viennese. 
During one of the Empress's visits to one of the foreign 
princesses, a crowd of sightseers, who had gathered 
round her carriage, expressed their opinion that it was 
very bad taste on her part to have retained the Im- 
perial French arms on the panels of her carriages and 
on the buttons of her servants' liveries. These remarks 
obliged Marie Louise to change them. 

Her uncles rarely came to see her. The youngest, 
Archduke Rudolph, who under the appearance of health, 
hid a complication of diseases, took advantage of the 
moments when these diseases left him at peace to 
visit his niece. He was very amiable and very gentle, 
his constant sufferings had given an expression of 
melancholy to his features. He was a great musician 
and painted agreeably. Sometimes he would improvise 
on the piano and whilst doing so would often be at- 
tacked by a nervous attack, the violence of which used 
to make him faint. 

The Emperor of Austria, accompanied by the Em- 
peror of Russia and the King of Prussia left at the 
end of October for Hungary. The Emperor Alex- 
ander showed himself at the Emperor Francis's side, 
on his entry into Buda, dressed in a Hungarian 
uniform. The Austrian monarch's confidence taken in 
connection with the secret designs attributed to the Czar 
on some of the provinces of Hungaria, seemed impru- 
dent to the Hungarians attached to the house of Austria. 

We had reached the last days of October and the 

3 I 6 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Congress had not yet set to work, which justified 
Prince de Ligne's well-known saying: "The Congress 
dances but does not go. " At the same time, in the 
midst of the tumult of balls, banquets, and amusements 
of every kind which each day brought with it, the most 
serious questions were being debated; but they were 
so complicated, and so divergent were the interests 
at stake, that it was difficult to establish the bases on 
which to found the drafting of the various definite 
treaties. The Empress's interests were subjected to 
the same oscillations. On her return to Vienna there 
began for her a series of vicissitudes, the object of 
which was to gain time, and to complicate the question 
of the possession of the duchies of Parma. The Vienna 
Cabinet pretended to decline, from a feeling of delicacy, 
to listen to any proposal in favour of Marie Louise. 
The Emperor Alexander protested his intention of main- 
taining the stipulation of the Fontainebleau treaty of 
April iith, which assured the sovereignty of Parma to 
the Empress; the politics of Russia were not interested 
in this question. Prussia and England only attached 
but slight importance to it. The government of Louis 
XVIII. and Spain on the other hand manifested the 
most violent opposition. Marie Louise once so lofty 
had fallen so low that she and her son could be dis- 
posed of without consulting her. The interest which 
she could hope for was purely gratuitous; it could 
only become efficacious by a docility on her part 
which would suffice to dissipate the mistrust which as 
the wife of Napoleon she inspired. The only prince 
who seemed to defend her cause, then, was Alexander, 
who never lost an opportunity of parading chivalrous 
sentiments. The lady who had been Empress of the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 317 

French played in Vienna the role of a suitor who has 
no access to her judges, whose family, though strong 
enough to defend her, observes a despairing neutrality, 
and who has no support but the interested zeal of a 
friend and the protection of a powerful man, anxious 
rather to do himself credit by his good offices than 
to render her real services. 

Her declared adversaries were the Spanish plenipo- 
tentiaries. The former Queen of Etruria, charged with 
the guardianship of her son, not having been able to 
obtain for him the restitution of Tuscany, ceded in 
1 80 1 to the Infant of Parma, her husband, had thrown 
herself back on the duchies of Parma, the paternal 
inheritance of this son. This princess's claims were 
supported by the Spanish legation with an obstinacy, 
to which the most hostile feelings against the Emperor 
Napoleon gave fresh force ; the French plenipotentiaries 
favoured this pretension. The Austrian Cabinet, whose 
policy tended to the invasion of the Italian peninsula, 
strongly desired, though without letting it be seen, 
to see an Austrian Archduchess in possession of the 
duchies of Parma, amongst which Piacenza moreover 
afforded a strong military position. The Emperor Francis, 
however, to whom his cabinet wished to give the merit of 
disinterestedness or whose scruples it apparently wished 
to respect, offered to leave the decision as to his 
daughter's interests in the hands of the allies, as well 
as the settlement of the indemnity to which she was 
entitled. He carried his abnegation to the point of 
consenting to the proposal made by France that this 
indemnity should be taken out in fiefs in Bohemia, 
known by the name of the Bavarian Palatinates, be- 
longing to the Grand-duke of Tuscany, with reversion 

3 1 8 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

to the Emperor Francis's domain. These fiefs were later 
on assigned to Napoleon's son, in compensation for the 
succession to the States of Parma which was refused 
to him. These estates consisted of lands situated in the 
Buntzlau, Czaslau, Klattau, Leumeritz and Raconitz 

The estimated value of these estates and the revenues 
derived therefrom valued in currency, Vienna rate, 
represented a capital of thirteen millions, three or four 
hundred thousand francs and a revenue of about six 
hundred thousand francs, French currency. This con- 
cession on the part of Austria was never made in earnest. 
The cession to the son of the Queen of Etruria of the 
duchy of Lucca, with the enjoyment of an annual 
income of five hundred thousand francs charged on 
these estates, the fee-simple of which was not alienated, 
definitively assured to the Empress Marie Louise the 
integral life possession of the States of Parma. 

The pretensions raised by the Court of Spain did not 
displease the allied sovereigns who were not reassured 
by the prospect of the establishment of the wife of 
Napoleon in Italy. They provided the text of new 
arguments which were employed with success to obtain 
from her that she should at least appear indifferent to 
the Emperor's prospects. It was pointed out to her 
that any suspicion of complicity with him would deprive 
her for ever of the advantages which the friendly feeling 
of Austria reserved for her, the loss of which would not 
only have been injurious to her but also to the Austrian 
Empire. Those considerations skilfully placed before her, 
the foar inspired into the Empress of injuring her father, 
Ikt nspect for whom increased in proportion to the 
affection, sterile as it was in appearance, that he mani- 


fested towards her, the impossibility demonstrated to 
her of ever being- reunited with the Emperor, the 
Austrian public opinion which influenced her, so to say, 
on every side, found her without defence. Later on it 
was tried to push her docility to its extreme limits and 
to induce her to make a public manifestation against 
the Emperor, but this she refused to do. This was a 
concession to old memories, weak it is true, but not 
yet effaced. 

At the same time, General Neipperg, whose functions 
as chamberlain, Grand Equerry, and charge d'affaires 
attached him to the inner service of the Empress, was 
busying himself to assure her the free possession 
of the sovereignty which the treaties had granted to 
her. He made use of his influence with the Prime 
Minister, wrote memoranda, and pleaded her cause with 
ardour. The Emperor arranged for interviews between 
his daughter and his all-powerful minister, so that she 
might speak to him of her affairs. Each day there was a 
fresh story: to-day Parma was assured to her, on the 
morrow it had been given to somebody else. These 
alternatives of fear and hope kept her anxiety alive 
and had the effect of disposing her for the sacrifices 
which were demanded of her and of increasing her desire 
to have her fate decided upon. They seemed calculated 
to aggravate the sad effects of the change which this 
dependent and undignified position had brought about 
in her ideas about France. 

General Neipperg came almost every day, in the 
evening, to dine and play music at Schonbrunn; he 
afterwards returned to Vienna. His every nerve 
was strained towards one single object, to succeed 
in the mission with which he had been charged to 


make the Empress forget France and in consequence the 
Emperor. The progress which he succeeded in making 
in the Princess's confidence recommended him to the gra- 
titude of the Austrian Cabinet. As a natural consequence 
the French, especially those whose attachment to the 
Emperor Napoleon was well known, were badly looked 
upon. The suspicion which they aroused had caused 
them to be excluded from any public post in Parma; 
if the Empress went there, no Frenchman was to follow 
her. She would only go under the guardianship of an 
Austrian minister, w r ith an Austrian governor, who 
alone would be admitted to her confidence and to the 
direction of public business. The bishop of Piacenza, 
M. Fallot de Beaumont, made useless endeavours to 
preserve the episcopal see to which he had been ap- 
pointed by Napoleon. Count San Vitale was introduced 
to Marie Louise as Grand Chamberlain of the Duchy 
of Parma, in the course of November, and this revived 
her hopes. This seemed to her the effect of General 
Neipperg's energetic measures, and a foretoken of 
her speedy occupation of the throne of Parma. By 
this general's advice she addressed letters to the 
Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia to commend 
her interests to their attention. These letters which 
were approved of by her father were carried by 
Neipperg". The General at the same time was commis- 
sioned to make a verbal communication on the subject 
to Lord Castlereagh who showed himself well disposed. 
Without admitting Count Neipperg to their presence 
the two princes answered the letters of the Empress. 
Alexander's answer wis in harmony with the character 
which he assumed in public. It contained promises 
expressed in kindly terms. The King of Prussia's 

menev&l's memoirs of napoleon I. 321 

letter contained nothing but vague and general assur- 
ances. Lord Castlereagh, who had answered General 
Neipperg by word of mouth, did not think it necessary 
to write ; but a week later presented himself at Schon- 
brunn, with his brother Lord Stewart, in ordinary riding 
costume, top-boots, and a whip in his hand. Not 
having been received they asked to write down their 
names and being told that that was not the custom 
they withdrew. The English minister made a large 
use of the protectorate, in harmony with the way of 
thinking of the British Cabinet, and thought no doubt 
that an archduchess who had become the wife of the 
Emperor Napoleon had on that account lost her rights 
to any kind of respect. The assurances of the Aga- 
memnon of the coalition and England's toleration gave 
the Empress some kind of security. Parma seemed 
likely to be assured to her in the future. There re- 
mained the question — a capital question in her eyes — to 
know whether she would be allowed to reside there. 



Annexation of the State of Genoa to the Kingdom of Sardinia — Death 01 
Prince de Ligne — Confiscation of Saxony to the Profit of Prussia — Anniversary 
of the Empress Marie Louise's Birth — Letter of Fouche to Prince de Metter- 
nich — The Emperor of Austria Makes His Daughter Promise Not to Correspond 
with Her Husband Without His Permission — Napoleon's Letter to Marie 
Louise is Handed to Her After Having Been Communicated to the Congress 
— I Find Opportunities Amongst the Viennese Merchants for Forwarding 
my Letters — Marie Louise's Occupations —Count Neipperg's Memorandum 
on Italy — The Prince of Parma's Precocity — New Year's Day, 1815 — Twelfth 
Night Cake — Madness of the Tutor of the Hereditary Prince of Austria — 
Reading Werner's Tragedies — Anniversary of January 21st Celebrated in 
Vienna — Sledge Races — Misunderstanding in the Congress — M. de Talleyrand's 
Efforts to Deprive Marie Louise of the States of Parma — Terror Inspired 
to the Allies by the Vicinity of the Island of Elba — Orders Given for the 
Recruitment and Reinforcement of the Allied Armies — Efforts of France to 
Dispossess King Joachim — Forged Letters Produced by Lord Castlereagh in 
the English Parliament — Friendly Demonstration of the Emperor Alexander 
Towards Prince Eugene — This Prince's Opinion on the Continental System — 
His Dislike for English Society — He Seeks lor Popularity in Vienna — Marie 
Louise's Little Court is Diminished —The Princess is Made to Fear that 
She will not Possess the Duchy of Parma — She Agrees that the Duchy Shall 
not Descend to Her Son — Alexander's Proposal in Favour ol Prince Eugene 
— The Ionian Islands Remain Vacant for a Short Time — Indifference of 
This Monarch to the Bourbons — He Promises to Support the Empress — Ill- 
will of the French Legation — M. de Montesquiou's Arrival in Schonbrunn — 
Letter from the Emperor Written from the Island of Elba — Illness of Madame de 
Brignole, and M. de Bausset— The Emperor Alexander's Wager with a Viennese 
Lady — Armament Projected by France for the Expulsion of Joachim from 
the Throne of Naples — Apparent Neutrality of Austria — King Joachim's 
Determination to Attack Austria — Council Hefd with This in View at 
Ancona — Marie Louise Prevents Count Neipperg's Departure to Italy — Lord 
Wellington's Arrival in Vienna — First News of the Emperor's Departure 
from the Island of Elba — Sensition Caused by This Event— The Empress's 
Emotion — It is Thought in Vienna that the Emperor is Making His Way 
to Italy — Military Arrangements of the Austrian Government — The Festivities 
Cease — Silent Activity of the Congress — Investigations by the Viennese 
Police — Fruitless Application to the King of Saxony to Induce Him to 
Abandon His States— It is Heard that Napoleon has Landed in France — 
The Emperor of Austria's First Movement — Agreement Between the Allied 
Sovereigns to March Their Armies upon France Once More — Contradictory 
Reports on the Emperor's March — Marie Louise's Indecision as to What 
She Ought to Do — Plan for Separating Madame do Montesquiou from the 
King of Rome — The Sacrament is Administered to Madame de Brignole — 
Marie Louise's Declaration that She has Nothing to Do with the Emperor's 
Plans, that She Places Herself Under the I hieetion of the Allies— Deri. na- 
tion of March 13th Followed by the Treaty of March 25th— The Report of 
the Commission of the French Council of State on This Document— Marie 
Louise's Agitation— She Justice* What She has Done by Her Dependent 


'meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 323 

Position — Napoleon's Son is Conducted to Vienna — The States of Parma are 
Governed in the Name of Austria — M. de Talleyrand Closes His House 
and Declares that His Mission has Come to an End — M. de Besnardiere 
Leaves for Paris —His Conduct in Paris — Madame de Montesquiou is Separated 
from Her Pupil — Her Son is Accused of Having Wished to Kidnap the 
King of Rome— Fouche's Intrigues— Madame de Montesquiou is Detained 
in Vienna with Her Son — New Letters from the Emperor Napoleon are 
Handed Over to the Austrian Cabinet — Arrest of Colonel Montesquiou on 
the Austrian Frontier — Marie Louise's Religious Exercises — News from 
Napoleon — Renewal of the Vow to Protect the Catholic Religion — Arrest of 
Princess Eliza — Orders to Arrest Other Members of the Imperial Family — A New 
Governess is Given to the King of Rome — Death of Madame de Brignole — 
The Emperor Alexander Acting as Quarter-Master to the Austrian Troops — 
Arrest of the Courier Sent to Paris from Prince Eugene — The Emperor Alexan- 
der's Excitement Against Napoleon — Italian Generals Sent to Hungary — M. 
de Talleyrand's Visit — The Allies' Mistrust of Him — Reflections — His Remark 
on General Lamarque — General Neipperg Leaves for Italy — M. de Montrond 
Arrives in Vienna Bearing Letters from Paris — M. de Stassart's Mission — 
Communication Transmitted by Him to the Emperor Napoleon — M. de 
Montrond at the French Embassy — Letter from the Due de Vicence — My 
Answer — Particulars About Prince Eugene — Indemnities Allotted to Him — 
About a Fund Confided by the Emperor to M. Lavalette — Reasons Alleged 
by Marie Louise to Justify Her Abandoning the Rights of Her Son and 
Separating Herself from the Emperor — M. de Talleyrand's Antipathy for 
Causes Which He Believes to be Lost. 

THE congress which had progressed so slowly was 
beginning to give signs of life, but nothing had 
been practically concluded, except the surrender ot 
Genoa to Sardinia, which made Countess de Brignole say 
that it was little to the honour of her country that all 
the sovereigns of Europe should have assembled in 
Vienna to decide about its fate, and that that was the 
only reason for which they had come. Indeed that was 
all that the congress could boast about at that time, 
besides the death of the poor Prince de Ligne who had 
been finished off by the festivities. A much more 
grievous act —an act really iniquitous — was in preparation, 
namely the expulsion of the King ot Saxony from his 
States. This good and unoffending prince, the most 
loyal and the most friendly of kings, in whom they 
were pitilessly persecuting the faithful and constant 
friend of Napoleon, protested against so revolting an 

324 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

abuse of force. The alleged decision of the congress 
which was notified to him, handed over the government 
of the kingdom of Saxony to Prussian commissioners. 
The declaration made public by the king proclaimed 
his opposition. At the same time he made it public that 
he would never consent to surrender the states which 
he had inherited from his ancestors, nor would he 
accept any compensation or equivalent which might be 
offered to him. Generosity was this time in harmony 
with the politics of the French Cabinet. The French 
plenipotentiaries pleaded the King of Saxony's cause 
with force. The protection of France to which that of 
Austria was added, a noble and generous protest from 
the princes of Ducal Saxony, who declared that they 
would not accept any portion of territory taken away 
from the king of Saxony, a declaration made by the 
small German states against any kind of parcelling 
out of the German states, recalled the great powers to 
moderation. They contented themselves with depriving 
the King of Saxony of half his kingdom, the whole of 
which was swallowed up by Prussia. England who 
laid claim to the role of being alone the saviour of 
Europe prided herself on asking nothing for herself. 
The war and the treaty of Paris had realized her ambitious 
views. She had acquired Malta and the Ionian Islands 
in Europe, and had laid hands on almost all the French 
colonies. She had seized upon offensive and defensive 
points in all the seas which favoured her commerce and 
gave her the means of injuring the trade of other nations. 
She wished to establish her supremacy, and render her 
role as a continental power more important by peremp- 
torily declaring that she raised her Electorate in Hanover 
to a kingdom, and that she increased this territory by such 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 325 

of the neighbouring lordships as might best suit her. Venice 
had asked for her independence. Austria answered 
this demand by imposing her rule on this republic. 

On Dec. 12th, the anniversary of the Empress's birth- 
day, the foreign princesses sent her their compliments, 
according to the German custom. She had g-one away 
to spend this day in Baden so as to escape the bother 
of visits and compliments. Two days previously the 
Empress of Austria had gone to Schonbrunn accom- 
panied by the Archdukes and Archduchesses, Marie 
Louise's brothers and sisters, to celebrate the occasion 
enfamille. The Emperor Francis who had announced his 
intention of being present had been detained in Vienna 
by unforeseen business and had been unable to come. 

About this time Fouche wrote letters from Paris to 
Prince Metternich. Napoleon's former minister, bored 
at having nothing to do, wished to take part in all and 
to set his mark on everything. He wrote to the 
Austrian minister that there could never be a more 
favourable opportunity for establishing the Empress 
Regent in France; that the new government had so 
offended public opinion that if the Emperor's son riding 
on a donkey and led by a peasant were to make his 
appearance in Strasburg, the first regiment to which 
he would be presented would lead him to Paris without 
any obstacles being put in his way. I heard of 
these letters from Count Aldini to whom they had 
been shown by Prince Metternich. Count Aldini had 
been Minister Secretary of State to the King of Italy in 
Paris. The Austrian Cabinet who had feared his 
influence had summoned him to Vienna under the 
pretext of consulting him about Italian affairs. He 
had frequent opportunity of seeing the Prime Minister, 


but rather to show himself than to work with him. 
Since the letter which the Empress had written from 
Aix to the Emperor and which M. de Bausset had 
sent from Parma in the preceding month of August, 
all communications between her and the Island ot 
Elba appeared to have been forbidden. I wished to 
know what reasons she had for not writing. Shortly 
after her return to Schonbrunn, whence I used to send 
news of the Empress and her son to the Emperor, 
I asked Marie Louise for a letter to enclose in 
mine. I then heard to my sorrow that Prince 
Metternich in the course ot a long interview which 
she had had with this minister had made her pro- 
mise not to carry on any correspondence with the 
Emperor without her father's consent, and to hand him 
the letters which she might receive. The Empress 
added that she had consented very much against her 
will to this cruel necessity, despairing of being able to 
do otherwise. One day, on her return from one of the 
daily visits which she paid to the Imperial palace in 
Vienna, she brought back a letter from the Emperor 
Napoleon dated November 30th which her father had 
handed her. The Emperor complained of the Empress's 
silence and begged her to write to him to give him 
news of herself and of his son. This letter had been 
four days in the hands of the Emperor of Austria. One 
of the Grand-duke of Tuscany's couriers had brought 
it. It had no doubt been shown to the sovereigns, for 
it was for this propose and in order to prove his good 
faith to his allies that the Emperor Francis had exacted 
from his daughter that all letters which her husband 
should write to her should be handed to him. The 
Empress did not answer because the permission to do 


so had not been granted to her. I made up for her 
silence by writing myself.* The Emperor as soon as 
he had been informed that the privacy of his letters 
was no longer respected, and that the Empress had 
been forbidden to write to him, ceased writing. In spite 
of the minute supervision to which I was subjected, 
Napoleon had not remained without news of his wife 
and son. I used to write to him by every possible 
means. I found facilities amongst the Viennese mer- 
chants which I look advantage of to fulfil my duty. 
Some worthy merchants whose heart had not been 
hardened by politics, and who had lost nothing in 
business during the stay of the French at the time of 
the occupation in 1805 and 1809 — I can say this with- 
out in any way diminishing the merit ot their kind be- 
haviour — lent themselves in a very friendly manner to 
forwarding the letters which I addressed to General 
Bertrand by way of Leghorn or Florence. 

The Empress who since her departure from France had 
neglected her drawing took advantage of the presence of 
Isabey in Vienna to recommence her lessons. I have said 
that this clever artist had come to paint the portraits of 
the sovereigns, and he was, as a matter of fact, working 
at his picture of the assembly of the congress. This 
picture is as remarkable from the good likenesses of the 
people as from the clever way in which Isabey grouped 
them. His brush must often have fallen from his hand for 
he was engaged on a piece of work which must have 
been painful to a Frenchman. He used to sacrifice 

* Thiers in his " History of the Consulate and the Empire" speaks 
highly of the fidelity with which de Meneval attended to the interests 
of his exiled master, and of the valuable services which he rendered 
him as a correspondent in Vienna. — R. H. S. 


some hours of each week to go to the Empress and 
repeat the lessons by which she had so much profited. 
The want of occupation, the influence of her recollec- 
tions, favoured by the atmosphere in which she was living, 
prompted her also to seek relaxation in the childish 
amusements which had been familiar to her youth ; 
she gave herself up to these frivolous and innocent 
pleasures when the bad weather interrupted her usual 
walks or her daily visits to the Imperial palace. 
Sometimes she would master her dislike for business 
and attend to the reports which were sent or read to 
her by General Neipperg, or by the minister who was 
governing the duchy of Parma, and who had come 
to Vienna for this purpose. The former read her one 
day a very serious memorandum, which she appeared 
to listen to with interest. It was a series of political 
and military considerations about Italy, in which the 
author had inspired himself rather with the political 
maxims of Themistocles, than with Aristides' principles 
of virtue. This project of one of the men who used 
to accuse Napoleon the loudest of iniquitous ambition, 
was very useful to Austria but at the same time very 
unjust. Count Neipperg's memorandum recommended 
the adoption in Italy of a confederative system, which 
in course of time would deliver up the whole Peninsula 
to Austrian rule, and cause all the little sovereignties 
which were not held by princes of the House of 
Austria to disappear imperceptibly. This memorandum 
might perhaps be found even now in the deed boxes 
of the Vienna Chancery. The annexation ofthestato 
of Genoa to the kingdom of Sardinia was the first 
Step in the direction of the establishment of a con- 
federation intended to unite the small Italian states 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 329 

against France to the advantage of Austria. This 
enlargement of the territory of a prince who had 
always been our adversary and the ally of our 
enemies, was destined in the opinion of the great powers 
to increase his means of action and to render him master 
of France's outlets in Italy. The purpose of the allies 
was in one word to turn against us the immense fortifi- 
cations of Alessandria and protect Lower Italy from a 
French invasion by the sea. 

My greatest pleasure was to pass a few hours in the 
young prince's apartment. His prettiness, his gentleness, 
the vivacity of his repartee were full of charm ; he was 
about four years old at the time, strong, well-built, and 
in excellent health. Fair, abundant curly hair framed 
his fresh face, the regular features of which were 
animated by fine blue eyes. His intelligence was 
precocious and he was better educated than many 
children older than he was. Madame de Montesquiou, 
who never left him and who cared for him with a 
mother's solicitude, used to rise every morning at seven 
o'clock and begin his daily lessons immediately after 
prayers. Not only did the young prince read quite 
fluently, but he also knew a little history and geography 
and was acquainted with the first elements of know- 
ledge. A certain Abbe Lanti, almoner to the French 
legation, used to come and talk Italian with him; a 
valet used to speak to him in German only. The 
child could already make himself understood in these 
two languages, but he greatly disliked speaking German 
which he found hard and unpleasant to pronounce. 

New Year's day of 18 15 revived remembrances of 
France in the Empress's heart, remembrances which 
had so roughly been repelled. In France New Year's 

330 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

day is a solemn feastday; in Vienna it is little more 
than an ordinary day, for it is during the week that 
precedes it that people make presents to each other 
and that the compliments of the season are exchanged. 
The streets of Vienna are then filled with carriages 
and foot-passengers in Sunday clothes. The Viennese 
seem rather to bury the old year with honour than 
to celebrate the new. This return to the customs of 
our country made us think for a moment that France 
had not been altogether forgotten in Schonbrunn. 
The Empress received all the persons of her household 
after mass. She was so kind as to give me some charm- 
ing articles of Viennese manufacture for my New 
Year's presents, adding one of those little coloured 
picture-cards which it is the custom to give in Germany, 
at certain periods in the year, and which conveyed 
the wish for a future better than the present and 
which might in some way resemble the past. Even 
General Xeipperg showed himself attentive and affec- 

On Twelfth-night the sovereigns assembled at a great 
banquet at the court. I forget which of them got the 
bean and was king of the feast. At Schonbrunn, the 
Empress gave a goutcr to her son, her young brother 
Archduke Francis, and his sisters. The ephemeral 
royalty fell to her son; it was unfortunately the 
emblem of the royalty which had been bestowed on 
him at his birth. * 

On the 1 2th the Empress went to return calls on 

* On the Continent, Twelfth-night (Le jour des rots) is celebrated by 
a supper at which the " King's cake" is served, This cake contains a 
bean, and the person who finds this bean in his slice is proclaimed 
king of th<' feast and has the right to choose his queen amongst tlm 
ladies present. R. n. S, 


the Empress of Russia and the Grand-duchesses, on 
the occasion of New Year's day according to the 
Russian calendar which corresponds to January 13th 
of the Gregorian calendar. 

About the same time Baron d'Erbeck, tutor of the 
Prince Imperial, who is Emperor to-day, had a violent attack 
of epilepsy in the midst of a drawing-room at court, as 
a result of which he fell into a state of furious mad- 
ness, which caused his death shortly afterwards. This 
event produced a very strong impression on his august 
pupil; the matter was variously spoken about, various 
also were the comments made on the strange things 
which the tutor had said whilst in delirium, and 
which were only the utterances of a diseased mind. 
As far as I can remember he spoke about menaces 
of death or of an attempt that was to be made 
against the exercise of the Prince Imperial's intellectual 

Abbe Werner, a great preacher, who was considered 
one of the first poets in Germany, was the author of trag- 
edies which had a success of "runs". Being in Vienna, 
Count Neipperg thought it would give the Empress plea- 
sure to hear this poet. The impression created by beauti- 
ful verses recited in an inspired manner, would tend to 
reconcile the princess to the German language. Several 
Archdukes, her uncles, and her two former Grand 
Mistresses, Mesdames de Colloredo and Lazanski, were 
invited to these readings ; my ignorance of the German 
language dispensed me from attending them. Abbe 
Werner read his tragedy, Cunegonde. He was a man 
of exalted imagination, whose austere face gave him 
the appearance of a fanatic. At first a Lutheran, he 
had turned Roman Catholic; and had gone to Rome 

33^ mkxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

ostentatiously to abjure his faith in the Pope's presence. * 
We were awaiting the issue of the congress with 
impatience. It was expected to end each day, but the 
lofty persons who presided over it appeared to be too 
much taken up with ceremonies and festivities to pay 
much attention to business. On January 21st, the 
minister of France had the anniversary of the death of 
Louis XVI. celebrated in the cathedral of St. Stephen. 
The Archbishop of Vienna officiated with great pomp. 
All the sovereigns, in mourning garb, and the prin- 
cesses wearing mantles of crape over their black dresses, 
were present at this ceremony in a pew of the choir. 
To divert the spectators of this lugubrious solemnity, the 
sovereigns gave the spectacle of a sledge-race conducted 
by themselves at Schonbrunn. Prince Eugene was invited 
to it. The chateau was crowded with people. Madame 
de Montesquiou and Madame de Brignole w r ere forced 
to allow the sovereigns to go through their rooms on 
their way to the theatre. The Empress's apartment 
was alone respected. The great questions of the pos- 
session of Saxony and Poland disturbed the harmony 
which appeared to exist amongst the principal powers 
represented at the congress. By the treaties which 
the allies had concluded amongst themselves since 
Austria's desertion, when fortune favoured their arms, 

* Frederick Ludwig Zacharias Werner, dramatic poet, born in Konigs- 
berg, November 1 8th, 1708, was employed in the Prussian civil service 
from 1793 to l %°5< went over to Catholicism in Rome in 181 I and 
died in Vienna on January iSlh, 1823, where he had acted as priesl 
and preacher, His dramatic writings are powerful, but lack in clearness, 
lli principal works are u Die SSkne des Thais" "Das Kreut an der 
Ostsee," '■'Martin Luther" (this play was republished in [876 by Julius 
Schmidt), and u Der 24 Februar" (the first tragedy of fatality). His 
complete works were published in is, volumes between 1840 and [841. 
Three biographies of Abbe Werner have been published, Hiteig (1823)1 
Schuetz (1841), Duentzer (1876). — k. h. s. 


it had been secretly agreed that the States of the great 
powers should be reconstituted as they had been before 
the wars, at the expense of the French Empire and 
even of the secondary states whose possessions might 
be to their liking. As long as the common adversary 
of the allies had remained standing they had been 
faithful to the motto "Union gives strength", but if the 
needs of conquest had united them, the sharing of the 
spoils was to divide them. The powers separated into 
several camps; it was whispered that secret treaties 
had been concluded between England and Austria, 
who later on admitted France thereto, against Russia 
and Prussia. France, in spite of or perhaps by reason 
of the skill of her representative, was the disinterested 
spectator of these redistributions of states. In spite of 
her benevolent role she did not obtain the concession 
of the slightest advantage; she did all in her power, 
on the contrary, to destroy the only French power that 
remained in Italy and to assure the rule of Austria. 
When it has been said that the French plenipotentiary 
had a personal interest in the preservation of the 
principality of Benevent, which he owed to Napoleon's 
munificence, or in the large indemnity which he was 
to receive from the gratitude of the Bourbons of Naples, 
one has enunciated a fact so entirely in harmony with 
the well-known conduct and character of this minister 
that it is not possible to consider such an imputation 
as entirely libellous. M. de Talleyrand allied himself 
with the Spanish envoys to deprive the wife of his 
former master of the States of Parma, thrown to her 
in guise of alms; his zeal in favour of the House of 
Bourbon and legitimacy devoured him. The interests 
of the royal family of Naples outweighed the interests 


of France, just as the interests of the people were 
sacrificed to the interests of the dynasties at the Con- 
gress; but all the efforts of France could not prevent 
the virtuous King of Saxony from losing half his 

One of the greatest cares of the powers assembled 
at the Congress was the fear with which the vicinity 
of the Island of Elba inspired them. Intrigues were 
set on foot in mysterious conferences, to act by violence 
or ruse against the redoubtable sovereign of this im- 
perceptible speck in the Mediterranean. The French 
legation associated itself in the secret measures pro- 
posed against him and urged his transportation. What- 
ever may have been the resolutions taken concerning 
him, whatever may have been the reasons why all 
the troops of the coalition were kept under arms, certain 
it is that instead of being disarmed the foreign armies 
were, from the end of December, increased in number 
and put on a war-footing. 

The great Russian army remained under arms. It 
was recruited and fully completed. A Polish army 
was organized, before the annexation of Poland to 
Russia, and a Russian corps marched on Posen; still 
larger corps received orders to advance on Hanover. 
Prussia drew up the troops which were stationed in 
the North of France and transferred the general head- 
quarters, to Brussels. At the same time her garrisons 
in Luxembourg, Coblentz, and Treves were increased. 
The King of Bavaria increased the corps which he 
had on the two banks of the Rhine by one third, and 
put the fortifications of Cleves and Juliers into a state 
of defence. The Dutch army was increased by several 
new battalions. Austria exerted the greatest activity 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 335 

in her armaments, and great energy was displayed 
in the staffs of her army. By order of the aulic 
council of the Empire all the regiments of the Austrian 
Empire were put on a war-footing and fully completed. 
The purchase of several thousands of horses was ordered 
in the country to complete the parks of artillery and the 
military equipages. General Frimont's corps received 
orders to cross back to the left bank of the Rhine. 
And finally there was formed in Italy a reserve army 
of forty thousand men. The Austrian military lists 
placed the total effective forces of the Empire at four 
hundred and fifty thousand men. The official Gazette 
of Vienna, published in part an account of the mili- 
tary measures and preparations which had been adopted. 
An imperial decree: "that as passing from a state of 
war to a state of peace presented difficulties, it had 
appeared necessary to preserve a great army under 
the flags, and that in order to provide for the expenses 
caused by its maintenance, a tax of 5O°/ was placed 
on the various branches of manufacture." Other clauses 
made public the fact that no soldiers would be dis- 
charged until the political situation had cleared up. 
One of the King of Bavaria's orders announced: "that 
affairs abroad having rendered it impossible to recall 
the troops who were outside the frontiers of the king- 
dom back to their garrisons, to put the army on a 
peace footing and to discharge the corps of volunteers, 
an extraordinary tax intended to meet the expenses 
of these troops would be levied." 

The Vienna Gazette announced, in the month of 
December, that the sittings of the congress would be 
closed towards the end of January; then, towards the 
end of January the same paper stated that the sove- 


reigns would not be able to leave Vienna until the 
end of February. It was again stated in this paper 
that it was impossible to say how long the stay of 
the sovereigns in the Austrian capital would last. 

All these military movements and arrangements, 
which had been commanded from the middle of Decem- 
ber, continued during the months of January and 
February. The reason for some of these arrangements 
might have been the taking possession of the 
various parcels of territory which had fallen to each 
of the allied powers, but no satisfactory explanation can 
be given for the rest. A curious book might be 
written on the secret history of the Vienna congress, 
a work of varied interest, well calculated to tempt the 
pen of some talented writer. Passions, abuses of power, 
jealousies, grudges, fear covered themselves with the 
brilliant varnish of the festivities. Balls and routs 
blinded the idlers to the real reasons of the apparent 
stagnation of business. The Austrian court must have 
found that the stay of the allies, from a financial point 
of view, was prolonging itself beyond measure. The 
expenses in which it was involved became as ruinous 
as a war would have been. This court would really 
have had a right to ask for some indemnity ; it is true 
that it found sufficient compensation for its pecuniary 
sacrifices in the restitution of the provinces which it 
had lost. 

The plenipotentiaries of Spain and France in most 
urgent notes demanded the expulsion of King Joachim. 
Already in the month of December the following 
proposal had been made, in a confidential way, to 
Lord Castlereagh by M. de Talleyrand, and had been 
eagerly approved of: * Europe assembled in congress 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 337 

acknowledges King Ferdinand as King of Naples; all 
the powers mutually engage themselves one towards 
the other not to support, either directly or indirectly, 
any claim opposed to his right to assume this title." 

At the same time the hostile steps taken against 
King Joachim by the two courts which were allied to 
the old reigning house of Naples, were personally only 
aimed against Austria, whose interest and whose views 
on this question — far from being definitely pronounced 
— remained, on the contrary, equivocal. The other 
great powers, who had influence at the congress, took 
very much less interest in a change of dynasty in 
Naples. What injured King Joachim the most in the 
mind of the allies was the suspicion that he remained 
secretly attached to the Emperor. 

Lord Castlereagh laid copies of letters from Napo- 
leon to King Joachim and the Queen, his wife, before 
the English Parliament, on May 2nd, 1815. The 
Minister wanted to prove by means of these letters that 
King Joachim in signing the treaty by which he had 
engaged to make common cause with the allies, had 
had no intention of fulfilling the obligations which he 
had contracted. It has been proved that these letters, 
handed by the French Cabinet to Lord Castlereagh, 
bore a date which was not the date of the time when 
they had really been written — that they referred to 
older occurrences, and that the text of some of them 
had even been forged.* Copies of the Emperor's 
letters, taken in 18 14 or in 1815, from drafts which 
remained in the archives of the Imperial cabinet and 
which were left by Minister Blacas when Louis XVIII. 

* I have been totally unable to discover on what evidence the 
author makes this statement. — R. H. S. 


had left the Tuileries on March 19th, 1815, were found 
on the return from the Island of Elba. These copies 
were written on paper doubled lengthwise — one half 
being left blank, and the alterations which had been 
made in the text were marked with red ink. I saw 
them in June, 1815, and everybody else could have 
seen them as I did, as they were shown to anybody 
who wanted to convince himself of the fact. It was 
only when King Joachim had strong reasons to suspect 
the designs of the allies and of the Government of the 
Restoration against his crown that he thought of 
putting himself in a state of defence, by approaching 
Napoleon on the Island of Elba. When he could no 
longer doubt Austria's intentions of dethroning him 
Murat determined to act on the offensive. 

The Emperor Alexander, accompanied by Prince 
Eugene with whom he used to walk out alone every day, 
used sometimes to come to Schonbrunn at the luncheon 
hour. He used to come without being announced, and 
would sit down to table next to the Empress in a 
familiar manner. He remembered having seen me at 
Tilsitt and Erfurth, showed himself very well disposed 
towards me, and gave me marks of his interest. He 
even made the offer through Prince Eugene that I 
should go to Russia, assuring me that I should find, 
all the advantages that I had lost in France there. 
There was every conceivable reason for my not accept- 
ing this offer, but none the less I was very grateful to 
him for it. I do not know whether I have already 
mentioned what the Czar was good enough to tell me 
about the continental system, and the infallible ruin 
which would have resulted therefrom to England if 
this system could have lasted another year. Alexan- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 339 

der had come to this conviction after the visits which 
he had paid to the leading manufacturing establish- 
ments in that country and his conversations with the 
principal manufacturers. 

He was thinking no doubt at the same time of the 
advantages of the impetus given to the industries of 
the various States of the continent and to Russian 
industry in particular, a result which alone would 
suffice to justify this great conception. There was a 
little bitterness in his tones when he spoke about 
England. He was not charmed with London society. 
He was specially shocked by the custom, which was 
then still in use, for the men to remain at the dinner table 
to drink after having sent the ladies off to the drawing- 
room. He sought after popularity in Vienna. In his 
walks abroad he used to salute all the officers he met 
and went up to them, sometimes shaking hands with 
them and saying flattering things. Always either in 
a dress or frock coat he used to go out and come in 
without allowing military honours to be paid to him. 
If a guard who did not know of this wish of his saw 
him coming, and recognizing him were about to present 
arms to him, he would motion to them to return into their 
guard-house and not to pay any attention to him. 

The circle of Marie Louise's little court had greatly 
shrunken ; it was almost entirely composed of General 
Neipperg and myself. Countess de Montesquiou used 
sometimes to come and join us, but not very often; 
in her scrupulous attachment to the duties of her 
place she did not wish to leave her pupil. From the 
beginning of the year Countess de Brignole had become 
very ill; she was forced to keep her room almost 
without interruption and often had to take to her bed. 

340 mkxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

M. cle Bausset, on his side, was bedridden with a 
stubborn attack of gout which did not give him a 
moment's respite. Owing to the absence of these two 
persons, the Tuesday and Saturday receptions had 
been interrupted. 

Towards the middle of February, when no doubt 
ought to have subsisted concerning the possession of 
the duchies of Parma, definitely acquired, General 
Neipperg took me aside and spoke to me with apparent 
emotion of the disquieting turn which the Empress's 
affairs were taking. On my expressing my surprise 
to him, at this sudden alarm, he told me that he had 
just had an hour's conversation with Prince Metternich 
on this subject and that the minister had made him 
understand, amongst other reasons which called the 
Empress's rights into question again, that it would be 
impossible for them to allow her son to go to Italy 
for the time being. He did not appear to doubt that 
the friends of the princess would entreat her to leave 
her son in Vienna, if his presence in Italy might injure 
her interests, reserving to herself the right to go and 
see him every year. This hint was calculated to give 
rise to the thought that the determination to deprive 
the young prince of the succession to the States of 
Parma had either been taken or was just about to be 
taken. On the morrow Count Neipperg, apparently 
thinking that he must convert me to his opinion, spoke 
to me of the matter again in the presence of M. de 
Bausset; at the same time he asked me to listen to 
his memorandum on the vicissitudes which the duchies 
had undergone, and on the inalienable rights of the 
J louse of Austria over these states. This memoran- 
dum and the one written by Baron de Wesscmberg on 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 341 

the same subject were handed to the Italian committee. 

The Emperor Alexander, constant in his affection 
for Prince Eugene, pleaded his cause at the con- 
gress. He had at first thought of securing the Ionian 
Islands for him. It is a fact worthy of remark that 
in the dismemberment of a great Empire, when 
each of the sharing powers was urgently occupied 
in appropriating the fragments of it which best suited 
it, the Ionian Islands should have remained untouched 
for some time — left, so to speak, at the disposal of the 
first comer. The annexation of these Islands by Eng- 
land opened their eyes to the forgetfulness which 
had made them neglect this rich prey, or to their want 
of sufficient boldness to take possession of them. The 
Emperor of Russia afterwards laid a note before the 
congress, the purport of which was that a territory 
with 300,000 inhabitants, on the left bank of the Rhine, 
should be accorded to Prince Eugene. The choice of 
a district in the neighbourhood of France for the territory 
in which the Emperor Alexander wished to establish Na- 
poleon's adopted son did not show any great solicitude 
on his part for the interests of the French princes, who 
had been recently recalled, and as a matter of fact 
his language did not bespeak much interest on their 
behalf. I have sometimes heard him speak quite 
bitterly about them. He said that he had known 
Louis XVIII. since Mittau ; and in his eyes there were 
nothing but parvenus in all the Royal Houses of 
Europe. " They are back again on the throne now, " 
he added, "let them keep there. If they fall off it is 
not I who will help them up again." 

The hint which Prince Metternich had given to General 
Neipperg induced the Empress to obtain an interview 


with the Prime Minister. She saw him in the Emperor of 
Austria's palace and received the assurance that her right 
to the duchy of Parma would be vigorously defended, 
and that her docility was being taken into consideration. 
General Xeipperg asked Lord Castlereagh for an audience, 
and he appointed it at eleven o'clock in the evening; 
he received assurances of interest from this minister and 
from Lord Wellington. The Empress wrote on February 
1 6th to the Emperor of Russia. Her letter contained, to- 
gether with new assurances of her confidence in the support 
he was giving her, a declaration to the effect that she would 
accept nothing from France, that she would renounce 
the reversion of the revenue of a million francs which 
was assured to her by Article III of the treaty of 
April nth, and all claims to the fiefs in Bohemia. 
General Czernitcheff brought back the Emperor Alexan- 
der's answer. It renewed his promises to remain of 
the same way of thinking in the manner desired by the 
Empress. He asked her for a meeting on the morrow. 
He arrived just at the moment when the Empress, 
who did not know whether he was coming to luncheon, 
was sitting down to table, and renewed the assurances 
which he had made in his letter. Since the conces- 
sion which had been obtained from the Empress 
that she would not take her son with her to Italy 
the most comforting assurances reached her from every 
side. General Neipperg returning one day from Vienna 
assured her of the Austrian Cabinet's firm resolution to 
maintain her rights, and even not to allow any dis- 
cussion on this point, which was considered as definitely 
settled by the treaty, and by the fact of the occupation, 
the taking possession of and government of the duchy 
in her name ten months ago. The French legation was 


far from sharing these views. The Spanish plenipoten- 
tiaries joined with it in manifesting a violent oppo- 
sition. Due Dalberg asserted at the house of the 
Countess de Brignole, his mother-in-law, that the 
Empress would not have Parma, and that the allies 
would not allow the Bonaparte family to own an inde- 
pendent principality. Count Anatole de Montesquiou 
arrived about that time to spend a few weeks with 
his mother, and I was exceedingly glad to see him, for 
friends of the Emperor had become very rare at Schon- 
brunn. I also received a letter from General Bertrand 
from Porto-Ferraio, dated January 28th, and a letter from 
Cardinal Fesch which had been written from Rome on 
Feb. 4th. The Emperor was in good health, and had 
received no news of the Empress and his son for more 
than a month, a matter which was causing him great 
anxiety. I showed these letters to the Empress. On 
the morrow at lunch she told me that if I had not yet 
answered the letters of which I had spoken to her the 
day before I was not to answer them; that she would 
tell me why later on, that the reason referred person- 
ally to me rather than to her. Whatever respect I might 
have for this wish of the Empress which was prompted 
by nothing less than her natural kindness, I did not 
consider myself able to dispense with answering these 
letters, and I have no doubt that if I was not disturbed 
in my correspondence with the Island of Elba it was 
owing to her protection. A powerless but not 
indifferent spectator to all that was going on around 
me I could not but be painfully affected to see the 
Empress placed between her duty as wife and mother, 
and her desire to go and reign in Parma (which she 
could only obtain by means of a double sacrifice), so 


easily choosing between these vexatious alternatives 
which till then had caused her so much anxiety. 
Passing storms had changed neither her gentleness nor 
her kindness, but to her anxiety there had succeeded 
a security which it was difficult to disturb. I ought 
perhaps to have sought for the reason of this serenity 
of hers in the confidence with which she was inspired 
by the powerful protection of her father, who absolved 
her of all, and in the sacrifice of her French sentiments 
to which she had fully made up her mind. 

When I used to go and spend a few hours at the 
bedside of poor Countess de Brignole, who was 
very ill indeed, I found food for other reflections. 
The habit of intrigue — even innocent intrigue — which 
had become a real want in this remarkable woman, 
accustomed to the respect which distinguished men of 
every class had always had for her, found but little 
food in the society of a princess who took nothing 
seriously to heart. Countess de Brignole enjoyed all 
the influence to which she could reasonably lay claim 
on the Empress's mind; but she was forced to exert 
more suppleness and intellectual resources, put up 
with more vexations, anxieties, and cares, involuntarily 
aroused, than when she was governing the Republic of 
Genoa by her influence on the statesmen of this 
country, or when she was negotiating with the Pope 
at Fontainebleau. This violent state of affairs in which 
this woman, of so fine and delicate an organization, 
who needed rest and quietness of mind, was placed 
was to end in killing her. I often advised her to gfo 
to seek for rest in Italy, but all her past there had 
been overthrown, and besides, how could she make up 
her mind to renounce even the shadow of an influence? 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 345 

When I used to go from Madame de Brignole's to M. 
de Bausset's I found him, on the rare occasions when 
he was not in bed, almost swooning in his arm-chair, 
wrapped up in an old cashmere shawl and a largely 
flowered counterpane, sweating in this harness, and 
casting glances now supplicating, now furious, towards 
the ceiling. This other patient was entirely given 
up to his sufferings, and remained sometimes for three 
weeks without interruption fastened down to his bed 
of pain, which he watered with his perspiration and 
his tears, for he literally used to cry like a child when 
his nerves were tortured by the gouty humour. 

To pass on to less sorrowful scenes I will speak of a 
wager which the Emperor Alexander made with a 
Viennese lady. The wager was to see which of them 
would change clothes the quicker. The scene took 
place in a drawing-room which had been divided 
into two by a screen behind which each was to undress 
and dress again. The witnesses handed each article 
of clothing, so that there could be no doubt that the 
undressing and dressing had been completely carried 
out. The lady must have exerted great haste, or the 
Czar must have allowed her to get ahead of him, 
for she won the bet. It is true that she shortened 
the operation, which in a woman's toilette takes the 
most time, by putting a cap on her head. Thus no 
difficulty was made in the choice of amusements, for 
anything in the way of diversion was welcomed. 
The same day there took place at the court a ballet- 
pantomime representing Olympus. They had been 
unable to find any Venus, or rather no lady had 
claimed to represent this Goddess. A certain Princess 
Bagration had more courage, but before the curtain 


went up she withdrew the offer which she had only 
made to get the performers out of their difficulty. 
The ingenious Isabey, to conciliate matters had the 
idea of showing a back view of Venus, draped with 
all the grace and elegance of which this clever artist 
possessed the secret. 

The French and Spanish plenipotentiaries persevered 
in their applications for the dethronement of King Joachim. 
The latter had given Austria no pretext for declaring 
against him, but the Congress wanted nothing better than 
to have its hand forced. To effect this purpose the 
French Government manifested its intention of resorting 
to the force of arms. The Austrian Cabinet was only 
awaiting this hostile demonstration to declare that it 
intended to observe a neutral attitude, and that it 
would repel by force any French or Neapolitan troops 
which should set foot on its territory in Italy. To 
assure this neutrality in appearance, a neutrality behind 
which it could prepare itself to act, it assembled an army 
of one hundred and fifty thousand men in Italy under the 
command of General Frimont. Count Saurau was sent 
t( i Milan, at the same time, in the capacity of Governor of 
] a >mbardy, and General Goertz was sent to Venice. This 
declaration was notified to the Courts of Paris and Naples. 
The French Government then appeared to occupy 
itself in organizing an expeditionary army to embark 
at Toulon, land in Sicily, and joining the Sicilian troops, 
to attempt a landing on the Neapolitan coast. The 
.Minister of War sent General Ricard at the same 
time to Vienna to come to an understanding with the 
French ambassador on the subject of this expedition, 
which however never got beyond the mere proposal 

General Neipperg being at the Court Theatre met M. de 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 347 

Metternich and was told to prepare to leave for Turin ; his 
adjutant, Colonel Hrabowski received orders at the same 
time to proceed to Milan to be employed in General 
Frimont's staff. General Neipperg rushed off at once to 
inform the Empress Marie Louise of the decision which 
had been taken with reference to him. On the morrow 
this Princess left early for Vienna where she begged 
the Emperor to postpone the general's departure until her 
affairs had been finally settled ; the Emperor Francis 
refused to make any promises. Count Neipperg wrote 
from Vienna to Marie Louise urging her to carry out 
the intention which she had expressed of asking for an 
interview with Prince Metternich ; she at once sent off 
a letter, which had been prepared in advance, to the 
minister. At two o'clock Marie Louise drove to Vienna 
with her son, whom she sent back in the carriage to 
Schonbrunn. She had to wait a long time for Count de 
Metternich at the house of the Archduchess Leopoldine, 
her sister, where she had appointed to meet him. The 
minister arrived at last and the Empress obtained a promise 
from him that General Neipperg should not go away 
before the decision of the congress on the Parma question ; 
his opinion was that all would be finished from the 
8th to the ioth of March. 

In the meanwhile King Joachim was not in ignorance 
of the danger which threatened him, nor of the agreement 
come to between France and several other powers 
with the object of dethroning him ; the crafty conduct 
of Austria, and the assembling of a formidable Austrian 
army which was six times greater than a simple obser- 
vation corps needed to be, caused him anxiety. Consider- 
ing, and rightly so, that this army was simply directed 


against himself, he determined to get the start of his 
enemies. During the Emperor's stay in the Island of 
Elba, communications had been established between 
Napoleon and the King of Naples. At the time when 
the Emperor decided to leave the Island of Elba it 
was agreed by word of mouth that the King of Naples 
should remain with his army on the frontiers of Lom- 
bardy, thus threatening Austria without attacking her. 
A convention to this effect was carried to Naples by 
one of the Lady Mother's chamberlains. The hurrying 
on of events prevented this treaty from being signed. 
A council was held at Ancona, at which three ministers, 
one French and the other two Neapolitan were present. 
At this council the question was discussed whether 
advantage should be taken of the King of Naples' 
favourable situation, to profit by this situation and to 
get the start of Austria. The two ministers who were 
born Neapolitans expressed the opinion that apparent 
neutrality should be observed, basing themselves on the 
danger to which the King would expose his crown if by 
a premature attack he justified Austria's secret designs. 
The King answered them by saying that since Austria 
had made up her mind to overthrow him, he must 
get the start of her by assuming an offensive attitude 
without waiting any longer. One of the Neapolitan 
ministers, Zurlo, who was for a longtime thought to be the 
creature and secret agent of the Queen of Sicily, which 
was not the case, insisted with much loyalty and talent 
on the various considerations which should keep the 
King on the defensive. These views were strongly 
supported by the third minister, who was a very 
honourable man, animated with French sentiments and 
devoted to King Joachim. He especially insisted on 


the faithful execution of the arrangements which had 
been come to with the Emperor Napoleon. The King, 
whose bellicose and impatient character urged him to 
war, and who was indignant with Austria's ill-will 
towards him, inclined to act on the offensive. A letter 
from one of the Emperor's brothers, the contents of 
which are not known, which was handed to him at 
a ball which was given to him by the city of Ancona, 
it may be, referred to some secret plans, and decided 
him. He threw down the glove and crossed the Rubicon. 

Some of the sovereigns had left Vienna, others 
were preparing to depart, or had fixed the date of 
their departure at an earlier or later period, in one 
word, the Congress appeared to be drawing to a close, 
when the Duke of Wellington arrived in Vienna to 
take the place of Lord Castlereagh who was being 
called back to London by the impending opening of 
Parliament. Whatever may have been the real reason 
why so important a person was sent to the Congress 
at the time when the most important business had 
been settled, the arrival of the hero of the coalition 
gave a fresh impetus to the amusements which, for 
the last five months, had not been able to weary the 
august guests of the Emperor of Austria. It was in 
the midst of a renewal of festivities and enjoyments, 
that the unexpected news was thundered forth: the 
Emperor has left the Island of Elba. It is impossible 
to describe the sensation which was produced by this 
news. It was brought to Schonbrunn on March 7th at 
two o'clock in the afternoon by a certain Abbe Zegelius, 
priest of the parish of St. Anne in Vienna, who came 
to see Madame de Montesquiou. 

The coachman who had driven this abbe had heard 


the news at the Chancery of State, whither it had been 
brought by a courier. The Empress was absent at 
the time. She had gone out riding accompanied by 
General Neipperg. On his return the General found 
a note from his adjutant Lieutenant-Colonel Hrabowski, 
which informed him that he had been ordered to go 
to Milan as a courier, and that he was starting at once. 
Marquis Brignole, who arrived in the course of the 
evening, informed Marie Louise that couriers coming 
from various parts of Italy since noon had brought the 
news that the Emperor had indeed left the Island of 
Elba. Till then doubt had been permissible. Extreme 
was the agitation amongst the sovereigns and their 
ministers. On the evening of the day an extraordinary 
spectacle was given at the court. The news was the 
object of the most animated conversations. The French 
plenipotentiaries, and some other foreign ministers w T ho 
were present, maintained that the Emperor had made 
his way to Naples ; which was to them a fresh grievance 
against King Joachim. Those who thought that he 
had made his way to France were in a great minority 
and could find nobody to believe them ; but all were 
unanimous in the resolution to take energetic measures 
against Napoleon. The King of Bavaria pushed his 
way through the crowd to come and tell Prince Tal- 
leyrand that he would make our of them* His son 
the Prince Royal said that the Emperor Napoleon and 
King Joachim would be taken together and both sent 
to trial. It would be difficult to describe the various 
impressions of stupor, fear, hope, in one word, of the 
genuine or feigned feelings which were expressed by 
the lofty persons present at this assembly. 

The Empress no doubt heard the news on her return 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 351 

from her ride. At least there is nothing more probable, 
but she appeared to ignore it. There was dinner, 
billiards, and music as usual. On the morrow the news 
spread rapidly in the little French colony of Schon- 
brunn, and gave rise to such remarks and expressions of 
opinion that an officious individual thought fit to 
suggest that an order of the day forbidding the 
people of the household to make any reflections on the 
subject be issued. The Empress no longer sought to 
dissemble the emotion which this coup de main, as it 
was called, caused her. She spoke a great deal about 
it on the next day ; she was alarmed at the dangers 
to which the Emperor had exposed himself, being 
persuaded that he would not succeed. She afterwards 
expressed a fear lest the effects of such an enterprise 
might be to spoil her affairs in Parma, and compromise 
her son's future. She went to Vienna to take leave 
of the Empress of Russia, who was leaving for Munich. 
On her return she said that the Emperor of Austria 
had expressed his great displeasure at what the Emperor 
Napoleon had done and had manifested his intention 
of sending powerful forces into Italy to oppose any- 
thing that he might endeavour to do there. Orders 
indeed were given to put the Italian navy in movement 
and to march an army of 180,000 men to Italy under 
the command of Prince Schwarzenberg. As usually 
happens in occurrences the importance of which exceeds 
all others, everybody tried to find a reason for this 
evasion, and tried to fix the responsibility of it on 
somebody else. The Emperor of Austria reproached 
the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia for 
having rejected the proposal of sending a foreign 
garrison to the Island of Elba, and of forbidding French 


soldiers to live there. All festivities ceased in Vienna 
from this time and gave way to silent activity ; the 
sitting of the Congress was involved in impenetrable 
mystery ; the Vienna Gazette (the Beobachter, a. news- 
paper which was written under the inspiration of the 
Prime Minister) remained silent, the simplest news of 
the city came there through the newspapers of the 
other states of Germany. All communication with France 
was rigorously forbidden. The supervision became 
insupportably wearisome. The police, like so many 
wasps, assailed one as one went by, followed one 
everywhere, and invaded one's privacy on a thousand 
pretexts. The German servants were thrown into a 
state of desperation by the Vienna police who exacted 
with menaces revelations which they were unable to 
make, as most often they had nothing whatever to 
disclose. The uncertainty of the events which might be 
brought about by Napoleon's audacious attempt did not 
stay the allies in their plans of despoiling the unhappy 
King of Saxony. This very uncertainty made them 
hasten it on. This prince had retired to Presburg, 
determined to consent to no dismemberment of his 
states. Lord Wellington, Prince Metternich, and Prince 
de Benevent went there on the morrow of the day on 
which the news of Napoleon's departure from the 
Island of Elba had become public, to endeavour to 
persuade the King to consent to the arrangement which 
deprived him of the half of his kingdom. They found 
him immovable. This unhappy sovereign was, however, 
obliged later on to yield to force. 

It was not only the lofty persons assembled at the 
Congress who were anxious as to what might be the 
nature of Napoleon's plans, the event was in every- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 353 

body's mind. Two days elapsed before it was known 
that the Emperor had landed in France. The Emperor 
Francis, reassured as to Italy, then told his daughter 
that if Napoleon, against all likelihood, was to succeed, 
he would not allow her to return to France until 
experience had taught him that he could trust in his 
son-in-law's pacific intentions and prudence. The first 
impulses of this monarch were always good, but his 
good sense and natural loyalty always yielded to the 
exigencies of politics. 

Already on March 8th all the sovereigns who were 
still present in Vienna had come to an agreement to 
put the armies of the coalition once more in march. 
Lord Wellington — accused of having opposed the plan 
which had been discussed before his arrival in Vienna, 
of removing the Emperor from the Island of Elba and 
of transporting him to some island in the Ocean — said 
that a campaign against the Emperor Napoleon was 
about to be entered upon; that he would be taken 
prisoner and conducted to England, where he would 
enjoy the consideration and the respect due to the 
part which he had played in the world. 

During the three weeks which had elapsed since the 
news of the Emperor's departure from the Island of 
Elba had become known in Vienna, the most contra- 
dictory rumours followed upon each other. Now, 
Napoleon, having failed before Antibes, where he had 
presented himself, had re-embarked ; according to other 
versions he had been received there by General Van- 
damme. Now, he had marched upon Lyons, but had 
been attacked on his march and had lost three pieces 
of artillery. The provinces through which he passed, 
so went the report, placed themselves once more under 

351 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

the rule of the Bourbons, after he had left them behind 
him. Now, he was at the head of six thousand men, 
and Marshal Soult had joined him ; now, Comte d'Artois, 
at the head of a corps commanded by Gouvion Saint- 
Cyr, had fallen in with the Emperor on this side of 
Dijon and had inflicted a defeat upon him ; now Louis 
XVIII. was prisoner at Compiegne ; now Marshal Ney 
had defeated the Emperor; now he had joined him 
with his army. According to others he had joined 
the Emperor alone, because his troops had abandoned 
him, etc., etc. These rumours did not spring from 
the lower classes; they were the resume of the letters 
received by the two Emperors and the King of 
Prussia. The Empress of Austria took care to forward 
the news which she received, more often false than 
true, to her step-daughter. French newspapers were 
forbidden and were carefully hidden by the Austrian 
ministers and the ministers of -the allied powers who 
received them. French news was published in the 
German newspapers alone. 

King Joseph, at that time in retirement in Switzer- 
land, did not leave me without news of the Emperor's 
march. He sent me emissaries to acquaint me with 
the real state of affairs and to put me in a position 
to counteract the effect produced by the calamitous 
reports which Fauche Borel * scattered broadcast 
amongst the members of the congress and in the 
city of Vienna, which was the only source whence they 
reached the Empress's ears. 

The Empress was so agitated by the rapid succes- 
sion of events, by the continual alternations of the 

* Fauche Borcl, a publicist of the day, known for his fanaticaJ 
attachment to the Bourbons. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 355 

Emperor's success and failure, that she lost her peace 
of mind altogether. Careful as I was to inform her 
of the truth, as I was not always able to reveal to 
her the source of my information, she was inclined 
rather to believe the news which reached her from 
the Court in Vienna than to trust in mine; any piece 
of news, no matter what it might be, agitated her in 
the same manner. One day she would say that she 
would not return to France, because she could see no 
chance of repose for this country; the next day she 
would say that if the Emperor would give up his 
plans of conquest, and would consent to reign peace- 
fully, she had reason to believe that no obstacle would 
be put in the way of her return to France, and that 
she would have no objection to appear there again, as 
she had always had a liking for the French. 

The resolution which had been taken, of separating 
the young prince from his worthy governess, began to 
manifest itself in complaints which were made against 
Madame de Montesquiou. It was said that she was 
guilty of having spoken to the young prince of the 
future which would be the result to him of his father's 
enterprise. M. de Bausset was in consequence com- 
missioned to see Colonel Montesquiou and to point out 
to him how very necessary it was that his mother should 
be careful about what she said, so great was the super- 
vision to which she was subjected; a very superfluous 
recommendation, seeing that Madame de Montesquiou 
was prudence itself. She had no difficulty in convinc- 
ing the Empress that she was not inconsiderate enough 
to disturb a young child's mind with untimely reve- 
lations the gravity of which he could not appreciate, 
and to say things to him which were calculated to 

356 mf.xeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

excite him in a manner likely to injure him physically 
as well as mentally. 

The state of the Countess de Brignole's health 
continued a cause for serious anxiety. On March nth 
she had several severe fainting-fits, in consequence of 
which Madame de Montesquiou induced her to receive 
the last sacraments. At three o'clock the Empress 
followed by Madame de Colloredo, M. and Madame 
Antoine Brignole and persons of the household proceeded 
to the chapel, according to the custom observed in 
the imperial households. There both she and her suite 
received lighted tapers, and we followed the priest who 
carried the Holy Sacrament to the sick woman's room 
in processional form. We all w T ere present at the 
prayers and the extreme unction, on our knees. Countess 
de Brignole edified us all with her piety and her re- 
signation. She asked forgiveness for any injuries that 
she might have done in a firm and loud voice, without 
either boasting or baseness. After the conclusion of 
the ceremony, we reconducted the priest back to the 
chapel in the same procession and in the same order. 
This scene, touching and imposing at the same time, 
supported by the sick lady with all her presence of 
mind seemed to restore her to her strength. On the 
morrow she was well enough to receive the Empress 
and even to converse with each of us, with a serenity 
and clear-headedness that deceived us as to the danger 
which menaced her. 

In the midst of this visit Marie Louise whispered to 
Count Neippcrg proposing that they should go and 
finish a letter the object of which we did not know 
till the morrow. The purport of this letter was to 
declare to M. de Metternich that she had nothing what 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 357 

ever to do with the Emperor Napoleon's plans, and that 
she placed herself under the protection of the allies. 
This declaration, which was immediately communicated 
to the sovereigns and their plenipotentiaries assembled 
at the congress, seemed to have been what they had 
been waiting for to decide upon the terms of the 
manifesto directed against the Emperor. This mani- 
festo was the famous declaration of March 13th, 18 15, 
an incitement to murder, worthy of the days of barbar- 
ism. * Why need it be added that the terms of this 
factum, which had been elaborated at the French 
legation, were found too violent by the allies them- 
selves, who changed its wording. The treaty of March 
25 th following, was the application and completion of 
this manifesto, a veritable document of proscription 
dictated by fear, by pride, and by all hateful passions 
exaggerated to their extremest degree. The French 
plenipotentiary no doubt did not foresee that in stirring 
up the hatred of the foreigners against France, and in 
provoking the renewal of the Chaumont treaty, he was 
preparing the disastrous and humiliating treaty of Paris 
of November 20th, 1815, to which too late he recognized 

* " The powers who signed the treaty of Paris, assembled in congress at 
Vienna, informed of Napoleon's invasion and entry by force of arms into 
France, owe it to their own dignity and to the interests of social order 
to make a solemn declaration of the feelings which this event has 
awakened within them. 

" In breaking the agreement which had established him in the Island 
of Elba, Bonaparte has destroyed the only legal title to which his existence 
was attached. By reappearing in France with plans for troubling and 
upheaval, he has deprived himself by his own act of the protection of 
the law, and has manifested in the face of the universe that neither 
peace nor truce can be had with him. 

" The powers in consequence declare that Napoleon Bonaparte has 
placed himself outside the pale of civil and social relations, and that as 
the enemy and perturbator of the peace of the world, he has given 
himself up to the vengeance of the public, etc., etc." — (Terms of the 



that it was impossible for him to affix his signature. 
The Empress appeared sad and afflicted. Her mind 
was secretly agitated by a fluctuation of painful feel- 
ings and reflections; she had not enough confidence 
in Madame de Montesquiou or in me to unbosom 
herself to us without reserve. She had even made a 
remark — so I was assured at the time — which I did 
not think it right to pass over in silence. She is said 
to have said : " If I were sure that I have not been 
blamed for not going to the Island of Elba . . . . " then, 
without giving full expression to her thought, to have 
added : " But I am surrounded by people here who, 
to be sure, have not missed the opportunity of accus- 
ing me." No misunderstanding of these words was 
possible to me. I accordingly took the first oppor- 
tunity that presented itself to complain of the bad opin- 
ion which she had of me, if she deemed me capable 
of abusing the honourable hospitality which she was 
according me, to play the part of informer. I told 
her that nobody better than myself knew the desire 
which she had always had to join the Emperor, and 
that events alone, the severe watch which was held 
over her person, and the precautions with which she 
was surrounded, had not left her free to obey what 
she had considered as a duty. What motive, I added, 
could I have had to lack in the respect which I owed 
to her? When she had spoken of the Emperor was 
it not always with the remembrance of the consider- 
ation and affection which she admitted to have always 
found in him ? I took advantage of the opportunity 
to express to her my regret for the declaration which 
she had made some days before and which had been 
turned to so bad a use by the Congress. I exhorted her 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 359 

in the most pressing manner to sign nothing which 
might engage her either to the allies or against the 
Emperor; it seemed to me the only attitude which 
she could assume in the vexatious position in which 
she found herself. She listened to my advice without 
impatience and told me that she saw its prudence; 
that if I was alluding to the declaration of March 1 3th 
she regretted it as much as I did; that it was a 
declaration of unparalleled violence, and that the allies 
in the future would regret having allowed themselves 
to give way to it; but she added that she was no 
longer mistress of her actions, that she had promised 
her father to place herself entirely in his hands and to 
conduct herself only in accordance with his advice; 
that she could not, without breaking her word, or 
failing in her duty towards her father, thenceforward 
her son's only guardian, to whom he showed constant 
affection, oppose anything that he might wish to do, 
not only in her personal but in their common interest; 
that the Austrian princesses were mere instruments in 
the hands of the head of their house; that she had 
been brought up in the principle of absolute submis- 
sion to this authority ; that she was no longer an 
independent sovereign ; that she was without protection 
and incapable of resistance; that she could but yield 
under the yoke which would be put upon her, or 
openly rebel against her father and her family ; that I 
could imagine what would be the consequences of such 
rebellion on her son's future; that she had been born 
under a fatal star ; and that she was doomed never to 
be happy.* 

* Vide the facsimile of Marie Louise's letter at the end of this 
volume, in which she speaks of herself as "completely happy". It 


The thought that Napoleon's son was in the hands 
of people who were devoted to his father filled the 
masters of Europe with anxiety. The Emperor of 
Austria declared to his daughter that the sovereigns 
desired that, under existing circumstances, the young 
prince should reside in Vienna. On March 18th, the 
Empress on her return from Vienna, whither she had 
taken her son to see the Emperor Francis, sent word to 
Madame de Montesquiou to prepare to take the young 
Prince back to reside in the palace of Vienna, and 
occupy the apartment of the hereditary prince. In 
consequence of this order, arrangements were made 
for going to Vienna on the second day following, the 
sad anniversary of a great day. When this dear obje'ct 
of the wishes and hopes of a great and powerful na- 
tion had come to the light of day, who could have 
foreseen that four years later, he would be in Vienna, 
a new Astyanax, a prisoner to the coalition, and that 
he would suffer the fate from which his father had 
tried to preserve him. On the 19th the Empress, 
returning from Vienna, went to her son's apartment 
and informed Madame de Montesquiou of the wish 
expressed by the Emperor of Austria, inviting her to 
get ready to start at eight in the evening, without 
mentioning the reasons which rendered this sudden 
departure necessary. At the hour mentioned she en- 
tered the carriage with Madame de Montesquiou and 
her son, and accompanied them to the imperial palace, 
where she left them. 

On her return to Schonbrunn, the Empress informed 
me that she had been forced to write to her father to 

was written some years later, after she had entered into possession of 
Parma, and whilst Napoleon was languishing at Longwood, — R. H, s. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 361 

place herself and her son under his protection; that 
the necessity of this step had been imperiously pointed 
out to her; that the Emperor Francis was determined to 
assure the succession to the States of Parma to his 
grandson, and would ask the King of France for his 
consent to this arrangement, as the price of the efforts 
made to maintain him on his throne. In the meanwhile 
the Austrian Cabinet availed itself of the step taken 
by Marie Louise to order the administration of the 
duchies in her name, but on behalf of Austria, on 
the pretext that the Emperor Napoleon might send a 
governor into these states to take possession of them 
in the Empress's name. 

The Prince de Bene vent was an object of so 
much suspicion in Vienna that all his actions were 
supposed to be dictated by double and contradic- 
tory motives. On the one hand it was said that, 
informed of the progress which Napoleon was making 
in France, and knowing that a decree issued from 
Lyons excepted him from the amnesty, he had had the 
idea of making his way to London where his niece 
would have followed him with her children and the 
Duchess of Courland, but that his favourite principle 
of awaiting events had prevented him from carrying 
this plan into execution. On the other hand, known 
as he was as a man most inconsistent in his fidelity, 
it was supposed that he had come to a secret under- 
standing with Napoleon. It was added that it had 
been proposed in Congress to put his papers under seal. 
On March 27th, after having received a special messenger 
who had been sent to him from Paris, M. de Talleyrand 
announced that he was closing his house and that his 
mission was terminated. Of the four French plenipo- 

362 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

tentiaries, M. de la Tour du Pin left Vienna, Prince 
de Benevent, Due Dalberg, and Count Alexis de 
Xoailles remained there until further orders. M. de 
Talleyrand duly left a few days after the various deeds 
of the Congress had been signed. M. de la Besnardiere 
had separated himself from M. de Talleyrand towards 
the end of April; he had returned in the beginning 
of May to Paris and everything that he said there 
seemed calculated to create discouragement. In order 
to hide the real motive which had brought him back 
to Paris he pretended to blame M. de Talleyrand. 
His real motive was to keep the latter acquainted by 
letter with what was going on. I had had frequent 
opportunities of seeing this person in Vienna. I 
had found him exceedingly badly disposed towards 
the Emperor and towards the army, and in general 
very hostile to the acts of the Imperial govern- 
ment. He seemed unable to speak on this subject 
without giving way to the most violent tirades. On his 
arrival in Paris M. de la Besnardiere put himself at 
Fouche's disposal and became his tool. Fouche chose 
him as one of the commissioners who were charged 
to negotiate for the armistice with the generals of 
the enemy after the battle of Waterloo. In this 
capacity he was sent with Generals Valence and 
Andreossy, and MM. Boissy d'Anglas and Flaugergues. 
Although M. de la Besnardiere's exaggerated opinions 
were well known, and although only a fortnight pre- 
viously he had been attached to the Royal Legation 
at the Vienna Congress, Fouche insisted on his choice. 
He answered any objections which were made on 
this score with the remark that the commissioners would 
want a man who was acquainted with diplomatic forms 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 363 

The mention of this fact dispenses with any con- 
siderations. I have neglected to say in what capacity 
M. de la Besnardiere was in Vienna. Before the 
Restoration he had been head of the northern division 
at the Ministry of Exterior Relations, at the time 
when political direction was divided into two divisions, a 
northern and a southern. Appointed Councillor of State 
he had been attached to Prince de Benevent's mission. 
On his return from Vienna M. de la Besnardiere 
attained in Sept., 18 15, in recompense for his "loyal 
services" to the Bourbons a very large pension and 
retired to an estate which he possessed in Touraine, 
where he died leaving a fortune of one million. His 
retirement was on the pretext of his health, for which 
he took the most extraordinary care. This imaginary 
invalid never travelled without being accompanied by 
his doctor, his sister, and his dog. 

On March 20th, the day on which the Emperor retook 
possession of the Tuileries palace, which King Louis had 
abandoned during the night, the Grand Chamberlain 
Count Wrbna called upon Madame de Montesquiou, and 
told her that he had been the day before to Schonbrunn 
charged with a disagreeable mission which he had not had 
the courage to fulfil, and informed her with all possible 
consideration that the Emperor had given orders that 
she should be separated from his grandson the Prince, 
and leave for France. The well-known opinions of the 
worthy countess, and the tender affection which she 
considered it her duty to foster in her pupil's heart for 
the Emperor his father, had rendered her an object of 
suspicion to the Court of Vienna. In spite of her 
prayers, her entreaties, and her protests, she was forced 
to obey this cruel order. She was forced to abandon 

364 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

the child which she had received in her arms, which 
she had not left for a single moment since its birth, 
and which had been the object of her constant care. 
She refused, however, to relinquish this precious charge 
except on a written order from the Emperor of Austria, 
protesting against the violence which tore her from 
functions which she could only resign into the hands 
of him who had entrusted her with them. She demanded 
in addition to a written order from the Emperor that 
a doctor's certificate should be given to her to prove 
that she had left the young prince in a perfect state of 
health. In reply she received a letter from the Emperor 
of Austria in which she was informed that new circum- 
stances having arisen which rendered it necessary to 
make a change in the Prince's household, he could not 
allow Madame de Montesquiou to go away without 
assuring her of his gratitude for the care which she 
had bestowed on his grandson since his birth. To 
this expression of esteem, which he could not refuse to 
conduct so noble, the Emperor Francis added the gift 
of a set of sapphires. The same day we learned the 
reason which had hastened on the young Prince's depar- 
ture for the Imperial palace. Madame de Colloredo 
who had come to lunch with the Empress told us 
that Count Anatole de Montesquiou had wanted to kidnap 
the Prince, that the proof of this was contained in reports 
which had reached the Emperor during the night, and 
that relays of horses had been prepared for this purpose as 
far as Bale. This story about an imaginary conspiracy 
with the object of kidnapping the Emperor's son and 
restoring him to his father has been accredited in me- 
moirs published about this period ; but the reports spread 
with reference to this matter, have no real foundation. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 365 

On the morrow, March 21st, the Empress went and 
spent several hours in Vienna with her son and then 
returned to Schonbrunn. In the evening Madame de 
Montesquiou arrived with Count Anatole, in a court 
carriage which had been sent her by the Grand Cham- 
berlain. She had only left the Prince after he was asleep 
and after having received a visit from Count Sickingen, 
the Emperor of Austria's chamberlain and friend. 

M. de Sickingen's name reminds me that the Emperor 
Napoleon out of respect for a request made by the Emperor 
Francis, had accorded a revenue of 50,000 francs to 
this chamberlain, the capital of which was taken from 
the funds of the extraordinary domain. This revenue 
had been given as a special favour to Count Sickingen 
as a compensation for the loss of estates which he 
possessed on the left bank of the Rhine. 

As Madame de Montesquiou was to return on the 
morrow to France with her son, the Empress wrote 
her an affectionate letter in which she enclosed 
her a lock of her hair. Difficulties which they 
experienced in obtaining passports delayed the 
mother and the son in Vienna until the evening 
and they were waiting with a certain impatience, 
when Count Wrbna called again and informed Madame 
de Montesquiou that in consequence of the events 
which were taking place in France the Emperor of 
Austria had made up his mind to cancel the author- 
ization which he had given her to depart, and that an 
apartment would be prepared for her and her son in 
the palace of Schonbrunn. Madame de Montesquiou 
refused it, saying that the "persecuted would be too 
near the persecutor." She asked one of three things, 
either to be free to return to France, to resume her 

366 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

service with the young prince, or to withdraw to the 
Convent of the Visitation until the time when she would 
be allowed to depart. The reason why she wished to 
go and live in this convent was, that having been 
brought up in a house of this order she had acquired 
there those sentiments of religion and honour which had 
been the rule and the consolation of her life, sentiments 
w T hich had also made her considered worthy of the 
charge that the Emperor Napoleon had entrusted to her. 
Count Wrbna promised her an answer for next morn- 
ing. This answer arrived at noon. The Emperor Francis 
gave Madame de Montesquiou leave to go and live 
in the Convent of the Visitation. M. de Wrbna answered 
that he had just been there, only that there was no 
iipartment vacant in this convent, and that he had 
chosen an apartment of three rooms in Vienna at the 
house of M. d'Enzenberg, Arch-Duke Louis's cham- 
berlain, where she could live. Madame de Montes- 
quiou accepted, resigning herself to go and live in the 
apartment which had been prepared for her. So painful 
a separation was bitterly felt by the poor little prince, 
who had become accustomed to the care lavished upon 
him by his affectionate governess. He was constantly 
asking for Mamma Quiou, and the regrets which he 
expressed at no longer seeing her by his side were 
the only consolation which she could receive under 
these painful circumstances. 

In a letter which the Emperor addressed from Lyons 
to Marie Louise, under date of March 1 2th, he informed 
her that summoned by the French people he yielded 
to their wishes, that he was received with acclamation 
everywhere, that he should be in Paris in a few 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon l 367 

days, and that he expected her and his son at the end 
of the month. This letter had been handed to the 
Empress on the same day on which the young prince 
had been taken to Vienna. It had been sent on by 
the Austrian General Bubna together with a very 
similar letter addressed to the Emperor. These two 
letters had been laid before the Congress. I do not 
know to what extent they influenced the decision 
which was taken in Vienna for detaining Madame de 
Montesquiou and her son. The latter received per- 
mission some days later to return to France, but on 
arriving at Lambach, the frontier of the Austrian states, 
he was arrested on some pretext or other, brought 
back to Vienna, and detained in secret confinement 
for four days. M. de Montesquiou only regained his 
liberty, partly thanks to M. de Talleyrand's interference 
on his behalf, and on a promise wfiich he was forced to 
make that he would not leave Vienna without per- 
mission. These gratuitous severities exercised against 
an officer full of honour, whose social position and 
well-known loyalty should have protected him from 
such vexations, were carried out by the most servile 
and most brutal police in Europe. This police was 
moreover stimulated by the mistrust which was inspired 
by the few French people who had remained in Vienna 
in the Empress's service — a mistrust which the pre- 
sence of one of the Emperor's aides-de-camp, whose 
mother was the governess of Napoleon's son, was 
bound to still further increase. Countess de Montesquiou, 
greatly hurt by the accusations which had been 
made against her son, demanded in vain that the 
official Gazette of Vienna should publish a denial of 
the alleged conspiracy for kidnapping the young 

366 m:.\ f:\wls memoirs of napoleon i. 

prince; no attention whatever was paid to this request. 

During Passion Week the Empress Marie Louise 
attended mass with great assiduity, leaving Schon- 
brunn at nine o'clock in the morning to be present at the 
religious ceremonies. On the Thursday before Easter 
the Emperor and Empress of Austria washed the feet 
of twenty-four old men and women whose total ages 
amounted to nearly two thousand years. Marie Louise 
continued her devotional exercises in Vienna up to Easter 
Day. She attended mass on that day in the chapel 
of the chateau of Schonbrunn, but went to Vienna to 
be present at the benediction in the Cathedral Church. 
At that time she sought relief from her sad thoughts 
in pious exercises, and consolations which she said she 
could no longer find anywhere else than in religion. 

Reports of every kind provoked by the escape from 
Elba continued to circulate, supplying food to the 
curiosity of the idle, to the anxieties and hopes of 
those who were interested in the result of this extra- 
ordinary enterprise. 

All eyes were turned to Napoleon at this time. It 
was said that King Joachim had assembled his council 
and the principal persons in his state, that he had 
made a speech to them, that his son, Achilles, had 
been carried in triumph, that the king had set out to 
put himself at the head of his army and to proclaim 
the independence of Italy. In order to increase the 
effect of this dramatic recital, which was so favourable 
to the views of the Austrian Government, it was falsely 
added that the Princess of Wales, having fallen in love 
with King Joachim, had refused to embark on board a frig- 
ate which had been sent to convey her back to England, 
and that she had followed the King with the army. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 369 

On Easter Monday the Empress was present at a 
family banquet given in Vienna on the occasion of the 
renewal of the Emperor's oath-taking to protect and 
support the Catholic religion, in the presence of the 
Archbishop of Vienna. The Emperor and Empress of 
Austria proceeded with this purpose to St. Stephen's 
church in great state with a procession of carriages of 
Gothic shape and covered with gold, with all the 
corps under arms, and the pages in grand livery, 
escorting the Imperial carriage on foot. At the same 
time when the young* prince was removed from 
Madame de Montesquiou's maternal care, orders were 
given that members of the French Imperial family 
should be arrested and detained in Austria. Prince 
Schwarzenberg sent two officers to the chateau of 
Prangins in the canton of Vaud, to seize the person 
of King Joseph and conduct him to Brunn in Mora- 
via, but the prince had left Prangins when they 
arrived. Princess Elisa, Grand-duchess of Tuscany, 
had been arrested in Bologna and conducted to 
Brunn. She had only been allowed two hours to 
prepare for her departure, in the presence of several 
officers and non-commissioned officers who crowded 
her apartment. She left her son at Bologna, her 
daughter accompanying her to Brunn. She had asked 
to be allowed to go and live in the country near 
Vienna, or at Baden, because the climate of Brunn 
was injurious to her health. This permission was not 

The childhood of Napoleons son needed gentler and 

more attentive cares than could be given him by the 

men to whom he had been handed over since Madame 

de M ontesquiou's forced retirement. A certain Madame 



de Mitrowsky, widow of an Austrian general, was provi- 
sionally appointed the young prince's governess, and was 
presented in this capacity to the Empress. This lady 
appeared to be thirty or thirty-two years old. She 
was not pretty, but had a refined appearance, and 
seemed amiable and anxious to please. Her daughter 
who was about ten years old was with her. Her re- 
marriage with a M. Scarampi had been decided upon. 
This M. Scarampi was a superior officer in the 
Austrian Lusignan regiment and he was leaving the 
army to enter the civil service. He was to have been 
attached to Baron de Vincent's legation in Ghent, but on 
his marriage with Madame de Mitrowsky, the Duchess 
of Parma gave him a post in her household, in order 
that he might be near his wife. This lady after her 
presentation to the Empress, and at the death of 
Madame de Brignole, was appointed lady-in-waiting, 
by a decision emanating from the Emperor of Austria's 
Cabinet. She fulfilled these double duties during the 
first year. 

The Empress of Austria who protected Madame de 
Mitrowsky gave orders in person that on her return 
to the chateau of Schonbrunn, Madame de Mitrowsky's 
apartment should be got ready for her Avith all speed. 

The turn for the better in Madame de Brignole's 
health was not of long duration. She had grown 
weaker each day and was devoured by an ardent 
fever. I used to spend most of the day at her bed- 
side speaking to her, chatting to her, or reading pas- 
sages which she would sometimes interrupt with judi- 
cious and remarkable reflections. Her language was 
full of eloquence, and impressed with a loftiness of 
thought which was almost sublime. In her calmer 


moments she would return to her memories of the 
past or occupy herself with her last arrangements. One 
day she charged me with various private commissions 
which she begged me to keep secret. She also dictated 
me a note containing certain arrangements referring" 
to charities, and presents which she wished to be dis- 
tributed, and provided that all her papers should be 
sent to her business man in Genoa. 

I made haste to send this note to her son directly 
after her death. It was not possible for me to be 
present with her during her last moments, for I myself 
was ill and unable to leave my room. The state of 
excitement in which she found herself during the last 
days which preceded her death prevented me from 
speaking to her of what was going on in France. The 
fear of provoking an emotion which might have been 
injurious to her obliged us to observe prudent discretion 
on events so important. I heard from Madame de 
Montesquiou that she had told her all these things on 
the day before her death. Countess de Brignole* at 
least carried into her grave with her the hope which it 
needed but two months to destroy for those who survived. 
After she had breathed her last Count Dalberg, her 
son-in-law, hastened to come and see me, being very 
anxious to know whether his mother-in-law had made 
any arrangements in his favour with which I might 
be charged to acquaint him. I bitterly regretted 
the premature death of this lady who was as distinguished 
by her mental gifts, as by her qualities of heart; she was 
not yet fifty years old. She died during the night 
in her doctor's arms, assisted only in this supreme 

♦The Duchess de Galliera who died recently was the daughter of the 
Countess de Brignole. 


moment by two faithful servants. She was deprived 
of the comfort of taking farewell of her son who was 
the Genoese minister at the Congress. The* state in 
which he had left his mother on the previous evening 
had not made him think that the end was so near. 
AVhen he arrived it was to find that she was dead. 
Whilst he was accomplishing this painful journey his 
daughter, a child of five years, who had been suffering 
from croup for several days past also breathed her 
last. Thus in a few moments he lost the dearest 
objects of his affection ; death seemed to have awaited 
his absence to remove them both. Few misfortunes 
could be compared to the misfortune which thus fell 
upon the unhappy Marquis de Brignole. 

On the second day following Madame de Brignole's 
death, after the doctors had carried out the post-mortem 
examination, her body was buried in the cemetery at 
Hitzing, which is a village near Schonbrunn, where 
some Frenchmen who died in exile — amongst others 
Clery, Louis XVI.'s old valet-de-chambre — were buried. 
Marie Louise was present at the funeral service in 
the church in the company of Madame de Mitrowsky, 
who had just been appointed her lady-in-waiting. 

The treaty of March 25th had been signed. The 
operations of the Congress had been followed by 
military movements. The Emperor Alexander seemed to 
have assumed the role of quarter-master to the Austrian 
troops. Every day, dressed in Austrian uniform, he 
used to go either to the Burg Square, or to the Prater, 
to review the regiments on their way through the city 
of Vienna; he used to take the Prince Imperial of 
Austria with him. The good citizens of Viennahada 
change in their sight-seeing: instead of tournaments, 


carriage and sledge races, there were military parades, 
the rolling of drums, the rumbling of cannon and 
artillery caissons. The majority of the princes of the 
secondary States had left Paris. The Emperor of 
Austria dragged in the train of the Emperor of Russia, 
was to follow the latter to Prague to review the 
Russian troops there. Prince Schwarzenberg was 
leaving to take over the command-in-chief of the 
Austrian troops. Archduke Charles had accepted the 
government of Mayence. 

The Emperor of Russia was in a state of violent 
excitement. Prince Eugene, whose intimacy he had 
sought after, had become an object of suspicion in his 
eyes. A groom attached to the latter's service, return- 
ing from France where he had been to visit his family, 
and who had left Paris on March 22nd, had brought 
back letters from Queen Hortense, Count Lavalette, 
and M. Soulange Bodin, the prince's intendant, 
which spoke of the enthusiasm with which the Em- 
peror's return had been met, of the hopes which 
had been conceived as to the speedy return of the 
Empress and her son, and of Queen Hortense's intention 
of going to receive them at Strasburg. Certain ex- 
pressions which had offended the Emperor Alexander had 
crept into the Queen's letter. This courier was arrested 
at Stuttgart and sent to Vienna, and the letters which 
he carried were read out to the Congress. It was 
concluded from this that Prince Eugene was an accom- 
plice in Napoleon's return to France. General Czer- 
nitcheff came to inform the prince in his master's name 
that the Emperor Alexander was obliged to break off all 
communication with him and, in spite of all his efforts, 
Prince Eugene was unable to entirely justify himself. 

374 mexeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

To clear himself of all suspicion of being in connivance 
with the Emperor Napoleon, he was obliged tc promise 
not to leave Germany. If it was important to the 
allies that Prince Eugene should not return to France, 
where his help might have been useful to the Emperor, 
Austria feared his presence in Italy still more. No 
sooner had she re-entered into possession of the pro- 
vinces of w T hich the hazard of war had stripped her, 
than she neglected nothing to assure herself of their 
quiet possession and to extend her influence. Her 
first care had been to remove the generals and prin- 
cipal officers of the Italian army, sending them to 
serve in Hungary and replacing them by Austrian 
officers. I was constantly seeing, at Prince Eugene's 
house, Italian generals passing through Vienna on 
their way to their new destination. The measure taken 
with them seemed to affect them very disagreeably. 
They were deprived of the order of the Crown of Iron, 
for which another order bearing the Emperor Francis's 
effigy, accompanied by emblems recording the events 
by which Italy had again been placed under the rule 
of Austria, was substituted. Archduke John was sent 
to these provinces, with the title of viceroy, provided 
with extraordinary powers for assuring the Emperor's 
authority in this country. Count Aldini tired of his 
useless sojourn in Vienna had asked to be allowed to 
return home, but this had been refused. 

I had occasion to see M. de Talleyrand at the time, 
having various communications to make to him. Till 
then I had avoided meeting him, although he had 
made me offers of service. I took advantage of this 
opportunity to thank him for the interest which he had 
shown in my favour—although, it is true, it had been 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 375 

without result — in seconding the wish expressed by 
the Emperor Alexander that some compensation should 
be awarded to me for the loss of my endowments in 
the former Escaut department. He asked me what I 
proposed to do. I told him that I intended to return 
to Paris as soon as I was free to do so. His question 
emboldened me, in my turn, to ask him what were 
his intentions. " Mon Dieu ! " he cried, " who can make 
any plans at such a time ? You ask me what I mean 
to do. I don't know at all. I shall wait." This 
complete and unexpected frankness on the part of the 
most subtle of diplomats would give a great appear- 
ance of truth to what General Langenau, quarter-master 
of Prince Schvvarzenberg's army, told me when some 
time later I had to apply to the Austrian commander- 
in-chief for my passports. This general officer assured 
me that Prince de Benevent and M. de la Besnardiere 
had wished to return to France; that Prince Metternich 
had made no objections to their being supplied with 
passports, but that Prince Schwarzenberg had held a 
different opinion on the subject. According to the 
General's story the Austrian commander-in-chief had 
pointed out how very disadvantageous M. de Talley- 
rand's return to Paris would be, in view of the fact 
that he was in the secret of all the affairs that had 
been discussed at the Congress. M. de Metternich, 
convinced by his representations, had refused to grant 
the passports. I, for my part, have every reason to 
place faith in the revelation which precedes, and I 
may add that it is only another proof of the little 
confidence which the allies reposed in M. de Talley- 
rand. According to their statements, this ambassador 
had not been sufficiently carefully watched, even whilst 

376 mkxj.val's MEMOIRS OF NAPOLEON I. 

at Ghent, for them to feel quite at their ease about him. 

M. de Talleyrand spoke to me of the two heavy 
losses which he had experienced within the last month, 
in the persons of Countess de Brionne and of Coun- 
tess de Brignole. Madame de Brionne was the mother 
of Prince Lambesc, and of a Princess Charlotte, who 
was formerly notorious for her relations with Abbe 
de Perigord, who was none other than M. de Talley- 
rand. Countess de Brionne had come to die at Presburg 
where her daughter's former lover had been to take 
a last farewell of her. He told me that the Empress 
had lost in Madame de Brignole a person who was 
able to give her "strong advice". He insisted on this 
word, but I did not ask him what he meant by it. 
I found that I had been indiscreet enough already in 
asking him what his plans were. 

I cannot speak of M. de Talleyrand without express- 
ing my surprise at the way in which his friends and 
those who have echoed them attributed to him a large 
part in the direction of Napoleon's politics. His greatest 
skill lay in his savoir /aire, in the science of intrigue, 
and in his way of hiding his secret dislikes. He 
always sheltered himself behind some great capacity, 
so as to rise in its shade and found his reputation. 
First of all, behind Mirabeau, and then behind Napoleon. 
It is not thanks to luminous conceptions matured in 
the work of the study, nor to a talent for developing 
them in searching debates, nor to his eloquence as an 
orator that this statesman raised himself to the rank 
where public opinion has placed him. The secret of 
the superiority attributed to him by his contemporaries 
dwells, above all, in the prestige of the great diploma- 
tic transactions of the Consulate and the Empire, in 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 377 

which he was the keen and intelligent agent, in the 
long career of public honours in which he knew how 
to maintain himself, and finally in the art of resuming 
in witty or sententious sayings the gravest and most 
important questions. How often have I been present 
at the ordinary weekly work which this Minister had 
with the First Consul or Emperor, when he was at 
the head of the department of Exterior Relations! 
Napoleon used to read the despatches which his min- 
ister handed him and would speak in detail about the 
matters contained therein. M. de Talleyrand appeared 
to listen to him with attention, but I rarely heard him 
express his own opinions, and as a general rule he 
only used to answer in monosyllables. Was this 
circumspection on his part, or was it a wish to clearly 
understand the Emperor's views before expressing himself 
on the subject? When the conversation was drawing to a 
close, it would sometimes happen that Napoleon would 
be summoned elsewhere to an audience which he had 
to give. He would then leave M. de Talleyrand, 
saying : " You have quite understood, make a summary 
of what I have said on the paper. I shall come back." 
And as a matter of fact he would return an hour or 
two later, but M. de Talleyrand had written nothing. 
Then Napoleon without appearing surprised and with- 
out making any complaint, would collect the papers 
on the table and dictate at great length w r hat had to 
be written in answer. He would then charge his 
minister to take away what he had written from dic- 
tation and make a fair copy of it. It would be some- 
times myself who wrote from his dictation. M. de 
Talleyrand on his return home would summon his 
heads of department and set them to work. It has 

37 S Ml xeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

sometimes happened that I found him in the morning 
lying in a little room in which two or three of his 
writers, standing up before a Tronchin writing-table, - * 
were giving the last touches to a report which M. de 
Talleyrand was to carry to Napoleon, and which he 
would afterwards patiently copy out in his own writ- 
ing. Although this Minister was incurably lazy, 
he spared no pains to prevent any loss of his reputa- 
tion for skill and discretion. There is reason to believe 
that even the letters which were written from Vienna 
to Louis XVIII. by Prince de Talleyrand, were written 
by M. de la Besnardiere and afterwards copied by 
his chief. Volumes of these letters exist in the archives 
of the Foreign Office, the drafts of which, written in 
M. de la Besnardiere's writing, have been found. 

But what made M. de Talleyrand's co-operation 
especially precious to the Emperor was that this 
minister was unequalled in diplomatic conversations. 
In comparing him to another of his ministers Napoleon 
used to say of him : " One speaks with so much ease, 
that yielding to the pleasure of talking he lets his 
secret escape him and comes away without having 
found out the secrets of the others, whilst Talleyrand 
on the other hand allows nobody to fathom him and 
extracts all that it is of interest for me to know, out 
of the person to whom he is speaking." In this respect 
Talleyrand was a useful and skilful coadjutor to the 
Emperor. It has been so often repeated that success 
abandoned Napoleon's operations from the day on 
which M. de Talleyrand was no longer in a position 

* A desk at which one stands to work. So called from a celebrated 
Swiss doctor, called Tronchin, who lived in the 1 8th century, who 
also gave hi^ came to a form ol exercise known as tronchinner. — r. h. s. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 379 

to enforce his political ideas, that I fear lest those 
who hear me speak in this way of this celebrated 
person, may accuse me of resembling that Athenian 
peasant who recorded his vote of ostracism against 
Aristides, whom he did not know, because he was 
tired of always hearing this great citizen styled The 

In our opinion, M. de Talleyrand owes the best part 
of his reputation to his circumspection and the prudent 
silence which he was careful to observe. He never 
allowed himself to be carried into a discussion with 
anybody; his principle was to let people talk and not 
to answer. I have heard General Lamarque relate the 
following anecdote on this point: The general had 
formerly had a dispute with a certain General Canuel, 
an ardent republican who afterwards became a royalist. 
General Lamarque defended himself vigorously against 
Canuel's attacks by means of letters to the papers. 
One day when he had published a letter in the Con- 
stitutionnel, with which he was very well satisfied, he 
found himself at dinner, placed next to Prince Talley- 
rand. The Prince nudged him with his elbow and 
said: "General Lamarque, I thought you were an 
intelligent man." On the general's expressing surprise 
at this remark, the Prince continued: "I say that 
because I read a letter of yours in a paper this 
morning. How can you be simple enough to enter 
the arena with people who attack you? You cannot 
imagine how you please them by so doing. Trust 
me, let them talk, and do you keep quiet. Do as I 
do ; I have never answered" anybody and you see that 
I have had no reason to complain of the result." 

380 mexeyal's memoirs of napoleon t. 

General Neipperg had left for Italy on April ist, 
leaving a long letter full of recommendations and 
advice for Marie Louise who could no longer do with- 
out them. During the general's absence an active cor- 
respondence established itself between the princess and 
himself. Count Neipperg's letters were real memoirs; 
some of them were not less than eight or ten pages 
in length. 

M. de Montrond arrived in Vienna some days after 
Count Neipperg's departure. He handed me a letter 
from the Emperor for the Empress and letters addressed 
by the Due de Vicence to Madame de Montesquiou 
and myself. M. de Montrond, according to what he 
told me, had only been able to enter into Austria thanks 
to the passport of Abbe Altieri, who had been sent 
by the Pope to withdraw the archives of the Vatican 
which had been transported from Rome to Paris after 
Napoleon's victories. He informed me that the Emperor 
had in vain endeavoured to send couriers and several 
officers, amongst others, M. de Flahaut and M. de 
Stassart, to Vienna and that all the passages were 
hermetically closed. 

Count de Flahaut, aide-de-camp to the Emperor, 
and Baron de Stassart, who had been auditor and 
prefect under the Empire and who was at that time 
chamberlain to the Emperor of Austria, had not been 
able to get beyond Lintz which they had reached after 
surmounting many obstacles. M. de Stassart went to 
Munich there to await the answer to a letter which 
he had written to the Emperor of Austria, in forwarding 
to him the despatches with which he had been entrusted, 
a letter in which he renewed the offer made by 
Napoleon to maintain the treaty of Paris ; it was then 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 381 

the beginning of May. He had been some days in 
Munich when he was sent for by Prince Eugene who 
had been there for about a month past. This Prince 
informed M. de Stassart that M. de Metternich invited 
him through Prince Wrede, Avho had arrived the day 
before from Vienna, to inform him that if the Emperor 
Napoleon would consent to abdicate immediately in 
favour of his son, not only would Austria consent to 
acknowledge the imperial dynasty, but would even in 
case of need make common cause with France. It 
was demanded at the same time that Napoleon should 
surrender into the hands of his father-in-law and, whilst 
waiting for the sovereignty, which was intended for 
him, to be assigned to him, should go and live in one 
of the cities of the hereditary Austrian states. Napoleon, 
to whom M. de Stassart made haste to communicate 
this offer which had been passed on from hand to 
hand in the way described, may have hesitated over 
some of the proposals which were made to him, but 
his want of confidence in the loyalty of the Vienna 
Cabinet and in the dispositions of the allies definitely 
prevented him from accepting it. 

At the same time M. de Metternich caused an 
overture of an almost similar nature, but addressed to 
the Duke d'Otranto to be made through M. Werner, 
whom the Austrian Minister sent to Bale with this 
object in view. A month earlier M. Bresson had also 
been sent from Vienna with an analogous secret 
mission. These were the last attempts at an arrangement 
which can be mentioned on the part of Napoleon's 
irreconcilable enemies who were preparing themselves, 
at the same time, to give him his deathblow. 

M. de Montrond had told me, laughing, that he 


had a free hand to kidnap Marie Louise, disguising 
her, if need be, in man's clothing and " without having 
to pay any attention to her prudery, etc." 

Various indications and his customary tone of witty 
jesting proved to me, as I already had reason to 
suspect, that this plan of removing the Empress, was 
only a joke on his part and not the object of his 
mission to Austria. He expressed his surprise at 
the sudden confidence which the Imperial Government 
in Paris had placed in him, who till then had been 
exiled and prosecuted. My surprise was even greater, 
for I thought that he had come to Vienna rather to 
help M. de Talleyrand's affairs than to serve Napoleon's 
interests. And as a matter of fact M. de Montrond 
was charged w r ith a private mission from Fouche to 
King Louis XVIII.'s former plenipotentiary at the 
Congress. He had alighted at the mansion of the 
French embassy. We used to meet each other by 
appointment at Vienna or in the gardens of Schonbrunn 
where he passed himself off as an amateur of horticulture 
and hothouse forcing, so as to deceive the numerous 
spies who followed us. 

The Due de Vicence in informing me that M. de 
Montrond was to bring back answers to the letters 
which he had to hand me, stated that the Emperor 
was without news of the Empress and his son, and 
that, it was of extreme importance to him to know 
what he was to think about what interested him in 
Vienna. I made haste to answer M. de Caulaincourt. 
It was impossible to write in a letter all that I wanted 
to tell the Emperor. Nor could I foresee what ques- 
tions I should have had to answer could I have seen 
Napoleon and have spoken with him. At the same 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 383 

time my letter dealt with the principal points on which 
I thought that he required enlightenment. The letter 
which I wrote to the Due de Vicence, and the draft 
of which I have found, contained particulars which 
must naturally find their place here. Although this 
letter was written in great haste and without any 
order, it has the merit — for want of a better — of offer- 
ing a summary of the principal facts relating to the 
Emperor and the Empress, of retracing local impres- 
sions, and of presenting a character of actuality, if I 
may make use of an expression which is in great 
favour to-day. 

This letter, the text of which follows, was deposited 
by chance in the archives of the Paris Foreign Office, 
where it still remains. 

Copy of my Letter to the Due de Vicence. 

"Vienna, April 7th, 1815. 

" My Lord Duke, 

"Your note of March 26th was handed to me this 
morning. The French newspapers are carefully hidden by 
the Austrian ministry and by those of the allied princes who 
receive them. It is the German newspapers which give us 
any news of France. All the negotiations of the Congress 
have been suspended : everybody remains in statu quo, await- 
ing fortunate hazards. The troops are in movement in every 
direction. The Emperor of Austria is to follow the Emperor 
of Russia to Prague at the end of the month, to see the 
Russian troops. The Emperor of Russia is madly excited 
against our Emperor and supports and stimulates all the allies 
against him. 

"It is said that he has sworn on the Gospel not to lay 
down arms as long as the Emperor is master of France. A 
treaty, with this purpose in view, was signed by the allied 


ministers on March 25th; we are expecting its publication. 
The Emperor Alexander reviews the Austrian regiments as they 
leave Vienna or pass through it; he is accompanied by the 
hereditary prince alone. As long as he keeps the princes 
assembled either at Frankfort, whither he is proceeding, 
or anywhere else, he will animate them and keep their 
ardour against Napoleon alive, but it may be that they will 
grow tired of his fury, especially in consideration of the fact 
that their finances are exhausted and that their troops have 
stayed so long a time in Germany. There is reason to believe 
from what has transpired of the opinions of these princes, 
and from various speeches that have been made, that they 
will not be the first to enter into France. 

"Paper stands to-day at 450, that is to say that 450 paper 
florins are only worth 100 silver florins. This depreciation, 
the end of which cannot be foreseen, is already making the 
Viennese grumble. 

"The government here has just issued a loan of fifty million 
florins in paper, promising to pay the interest of two and a 
half per cent, in silver. This loan has accelerated the fail 
in paper. 

"M. Bresson has left for Paris, charged with a mission, the 
object of which you are no doubt acquainted with. 

" Two days ago, by a general order, the decoration of the 
Iron Crown was taken away from the Italian generals, with 
the promise that it would be replaced by a new decoration, 
which has not yet been decided upon. 

"M. de Talleyrand is to-day an object of suspicion to 
the allies and everybody else. Any form of French govern- 
ment, democratic, monarchical, aristocratic, anything except 
Napoleon's government would suit the Emperor of Russia. 
1! anybody can get anything from this prince, there is no 
d< iubt that it is you. 

" I do not know when the Empress will go to France. I 
have no means of foreseeing such an event. The Cabinet 
here is far from being disposed to it at present. The Km- 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 385 

press's mind has been so worked upon that she can think of 
a return to France only with terror. During the last six 
months all possible means have been used to turn her away 
from the Emperor. So that she should not be compromised 
by the confidence which she might have bestowed on the 
Emperor's man, I have not been allowed, for the last six 
months, to receive any orders from her. When by any chance 
I have been able to say a word to her, I have implored her 
to remain neutral and to sign nothing. But on several oc- 
casions she has been pressed to declare herself alien to the 
Emperor's plans, to place herself under the protection of her 
father and the allies, and to ask for the crown of Parma. 
General Neipperg, who is accredited to her by the Austrian 
Ministry and who has acquired great influence over her, has 
left for Italy. He has placed a certain Madame de Mitrowsky 
in her service, who is destined to be the young prince's 
governess, but who for the time being replaces Madame de 
Brignole of whose death you will have heard. 

" On Sunday last happening to be alone at dinner with 
the Empress, H.M. told me after dinner that an act 
of the Congress which had just been signed assured her the 
possession of Parma ; that for the time being the government 
of this duchy would be left to Austria who would pay her 
one hundred thousand francs a month ; that she had been 
unable to obtain the reversion of these duchies for her son ; 
that the son of the Queen of Etruria would be her heir, but 
that she would obtain the fiefs of the Archduke Ferdinand of 
Tuscany in Bohemia for her son, the total revenue of which 
amounted to about six hundred thousand francs; and that she 
had made an irrevocable resolution, namely, that she would 
never join the Emperor again. Pressed for the reason of so 
strange a resolution, after advancing several reasons which I 
undertook to destroy, she confessed that not having shared 
his disgrace she cannot share a prosperity which she had 
done nothing to bring about. She added that she had writ- 
ten nothing on this subject; that she reserved it to herself 

386 mhxeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

to settle this matter with the Emperor as soon as she was 
able to write to him; that she is well aware that she will not 
be able to establish her son in Parma; that terrible as this 
sacrifice is she will submit to it; and that she has consulted only 
two persons, the Archduke Charles and a lawyer, who consider 
that nothing can stand in the way of this arrangement. 
You will recognize the influence of the Empress's uncles in 
this matter. However this may be, that is her dream to-day. 
I beg you to make such use of this information as your 
prudence may suggest to you. I am afraid of the effect that 
it will produce on the Emperor. 

" On Easter Sunday the annexed note from King Joseph 
was brought me at six o'clock in the morning by a Swiss." 

[This note informed me of the unhoped-for success of 
the Emperor's march through France and of his very- 
speedy arrival in Paris, of his wish to re-establish 
pacific relations with Austria and the other powers, and 
of his hope that his wife and child would be restored 
to him. I was charged to communicate this informa- 
tion in a confidential manner to the Empress.] 

"I was able to carry out this mission the same day, with- 
out showing the Princess the note, naming anybody, nor 
compromising the Emperor's name, because she had told me 
that she had sworn to her father that she would hand over 
to him everything that came to her from the Emperor. She 
therefore mentioned my name to her father as having been 
i harged to beg her to give this assurance. The Emperor of 
Austria sent me his thanks through her, so she told me, no 
doubt to encourage me to name my correspondents and to 
tell her all I might learn in the future. This partial neutral- 
ity on the part of the Empress prevents me from unbosoming 
myself to her. I spoke to her to-day of M. de Vincent in 
a roundabout manner. She assured me that she had Dot 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 387 

seen him, and had received nothing from him. She added 
that she had heard that he had not seen the Emperor but 
that he had seen you as well as M. Flahaut, that you wanted 
to give him some letters which he refused to take, that never- 
theless she thinks that she remembers that her father spoke 
to her of a letter written to her which was brought by M. 
de Vincent's secretary who left Paris on the day after the 
ambassador's departure, but that her father would not give 
it to her as he did not wish her to communicate with the 
Emperor, any more than he himself wished to communicate 
with him. Whilst waiting for all this tangle to unravel itself 
and for the Empress to return to a better way of thinking, 
I speak to her of the happiness which the Emperor's return 
to France has brought to his country, of the impatience with 
which she is expected there, of the Emperor's desire to see 
her again, etc., etc., but I do it quietly because it is a topic 
which embarrasses her. All must be looked for from time 
and from the Emperor's moderation. However great my 
circumspection I am the victim of the lowest kind of 
espionage; a swarm of ignoble spies crawl around me and 
study my gestures, my steps, and my face. I fear that I 
may be kept here a long time; I want to breathe another 
air. I want to see you all again. My health is breaking up. 
It is only the Empress and her son who enjoy splendid 
health. The Empress has grown much stouter; the Prince 
Imperial is an angel of beauty, strength, and sweetness. Madame 
de Montesquiou weeps for him every day. This poor lady 
is treated with great severity, she is shut up in a small apart- 
ment of two rooms in a private house in Vienna. Her son 
who had obtained his passports for France was arrested at 
Lambach six days ago. He was brought back to Vienna 
and was kept in solitary confinement for four days. He was 
only restored to his mother, whose sole comfort he is, yes- 
terday. He has given his word of honour not to leave Vienna 
without permission. It is to M. de Talleyrand's frequent 
applications on his behalf that he owes this alleviation of his 

388 mhxeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

captivity. The particulars of the circumstances and causes 
which separated the young prince from his mother would 
take too long a time in describing, and besides I know that 
she is going to write to you. 

" Prince Eugene left this morning at three o'clock in the suite 
of the King of Bavaria. He had come to Vienna to take the 
necessary steps for obtaining the establishment which was 
promised to him by the treaty of April nth. He was re- 
ceived with suspicion and mistrust. At last, for the last 
three months he appeared to have won the Emperor Alexander's 
affection and used to walk out with him every day for two 
hours. Since the letters which were sent him from Paris on 
March 22nd last were seized the Emperor Alexander has stopped 
seeing him. So that the Congress might not separate without 
having done something for him, the principality of Ponte- 
Corvo was proposed to him, some days ago. A condition 
imposed was that he should not reside there until fresh cir- 
cumstances had arisen but should go and live at Bayreuth 
with his family. On his refusal the Congress admitted that 
an establishment was due to him and that until it could be 
given to him, he should be placed in the enjoyment of his 
estates and revenues in Italy; but till to-day, April 7th, no 
orders have been given. 

" Last night at half-past twelve, Prince Eugene had not 
received his passports. Since April 3rd they have been 
deliberating as to whether they ought to be given to him. 
They wanted him to give his word of honour that he would 
not leave Bavaria but he refused to do so as he is not a 
prisoner of war. He intends to stay one or two weeks in 
Munich to take the princess and his children, and to accom- 
pany them to Bayreuth. 

" During the last six months I have written several letters 
to General Bertrand and have sent him two pamphlets, I 
do not know whether he has received them." 


(P.S.— this 8th April.) 
" I wrote to you yesterday in great haste and without any 
order. I have a thousand other things to tell you which it 
would take ages to write. What I venture to commend to 
your prudence is what relates to the Empress's person; this 
princess is good at heart, but for the time being she is under 
foreign influences." 

In the preceding letter I have spoken of Prince 
Eugene, but I neither said how nor why Napoleon's 
stepson found himself in Vienna. We related that 
after the fall of the Empire, the Viceroy of Italy had 
been forced to take refuge in Munich and that then 
he had been sent for to Paris by his mother the Empress 
Josephine. Prince Eugene was well received there by 
the Bourbons and the allied sovereigns, and particularly 
by the Emperor of Russia who pressed him to come 
to Vienna during the Congress. Alexander appointed 
a meeting with him in the Austrian capital, promising 
him to support his claims for the establishment which 
had been stipulated for him by Article VIII of the 
Treaty of Frankfort. In Vienna the preponderating 
influence exercised by the Emperor Alexander had won 
the favour of the Austrian Government, and of the 
other sovereigns assembled in congress, for Prince 
Eugene. He was treated like a royal prince and 
invited to all the fetes. Napoleon's return from the 
island of Elba, to which the Emperor of Russia sus- 
pected Prince Eugene of having contributed, put an end 
to the friendly relations which had existed between 
them till then. The Emperor Alexander bore a grudge 
against Prince Eugene as long as he remained in Vienna. 
It was only at the time of his visit to Munich, whither 
the prince had retired, that the Czar restored him to his 


friendship. So lavishly had the territories been distri- 
buted that there remained nothing available to be 
given to Prince Eugene, in execution of the treaty of 
Fontainebleau which assured him an establishment 
outside France. A decision taken under the Emperor 
Alexander's influence converted this stipulation of the 
treaty of April i ith — concerning the Empress Josephine's 
son — into an indemnity, the amount of which was to be 
taken out of the Kingdom of Naples and which should 
be the equivalent of a principality of fifty thousand 
inhabitants. Prince Eugene estimated the total value 
at twelve million francs, but the Neapolitan Govern- 
ment reduced this indemnity to five millions. The 
estates which the prince derived from the Kingdom 
of Italy, and the endowments which the Emperor had 
bestowed upon him in Rome and Lombardy, were 
left in his possession. Two million seven hundred 
thousand francs which he had left on his departure in 
the Italian treasury were restored to him. And finally 
the King of Bavaria, his father-in-law, vested him with 
the principality of Eichstadt taken from the Bavarian 
States. Prince Eugene was at the same time created 
premier peer of the Kingdom of Bavaria, (taking pre- 
cedence after the princes of the royal family,) and Duke 
of Leuchtcnberg. A regiment of Bavarian chasseurs 
was further given to him. 

Count Las Cases, on his return from St. Helena, 
had a communication to make to Prince Eugene, 
which the latter received after having been authorized 
to do so by his father-in-law the King of Bavaria. In 
1 8 14, the Emperor had deposited with Count La- 
valette, a sum of sixteen hundred thousand francs, 
which he hid under the flooring of one of the rooms 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 391 

in the chateau of La Verriere, an estate in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rambouillet which belonged to him. The 
chateau was occupied by the allied troops who, fortu- 
nately did not discover the treasure. After their de- 
parture, Count de Lavalette, alarmed for the safety of 
the trust confided to his keeping, begged Prince 
Eugene to take upon himself to keep one half of the 
amount. The Prince made various payments, and held 
at Napoleon's disposal during the last two or three 
years of the Emperor's life, twenty thousand francs a 
month, which he took from the fund in his keeping. 
When this fund was on the point of being exhausted, 
Eugene asked the members of the imperial family to 
contribute their share of expenses the object of which 
might be considered sacred. Napoleon's death happening 
in the meantime put an end to the negotiations which 
had been entered upon for this purpose.* 

Prince Eugene died in February, 7.824, less than a 
year after the marriage of his eldest daughter to Prince 
Oscar, son of the King of Sweden — Bernadotte. Thus, 
unless anything happens to prevent it, the throne of 
Sweden, which Napoleon wanted to give to Prince 
Eugene in 18 10 will descend to his daughter, f 

The two main points in my letter to the Due de 

* M. Thiers makes no reference to this allowance in his account of 
Napoleon's last years at Longwood, where, according to this historian, 
the Emperor was practically reduced to financial embarrassment in con- 
sequence of the parsimony of the English Government towards their 
illustrious prisoner. He states that for some time Napoleon was forced 
to sell his plate at James Town to meet his household expenses, after 
the reduction made by Hudson Lowe in the sum allotted for the same 
by the English Government. — r. h. s. 

f Nothing did happen to prevent it. Josephine, eldest daughter of 
the Duke of Leuchtenberg, who married Prince Oscar, succeeded to the 
throne with him, as King Oscar I., in 1844, and shared it with him 
till his death in 1859. She died in 1876, at the age of sixty-nine. — R. H. s. 


Vicence were the obligation enforced upon the Empress 
Marie Louise to consent to her son's forfeiture of the 
right of succession to the States of Parma, and her 
determination never to reunite herself to the Emperor. 
On considering what had been going on around me 
during the preceding six months, I had understood that 
some unfortunate denouement of the critical situation 
in which so many events had placed the Empress 
must be expected. This princess, deprived of all pro- 
tection, surrounded by pitfalls, led astray by perfidious 
advice, had become the too docile instrument of un- 
scrupulous politicians. In spite of my previsions, which 
had never been very optimistic, I was painfully 
affected to see that Marie Louise abandoned the only 
line of conduct which any care for her own glory ought 
to have kept steadfastly before her. 

Amongst the reasons which decided the Empress to 
leave her son in Vienna and to go and establish 
herself in Parma without him, she gave the following, 
to which no allusion is made in my letter: that she 
was forced to make this sacrifice, painful as it was, 
because it was in her son's interest. She added that, 
if she did not obtain the sovereignty of some State of 
some importance, she would be able to do nothing 
for him ; whereas, once established in Parma, it would 
be possible for her to save five hundred thousand 
francs a year, which, added to the revenues of the 
fiefs in Bohemia, would assure an independent position 
to her son after her death. I permitted myself to 
answer the Empress, that pecuniary considerations had 
very little weight in the position in which her son 
found himself placed; that if his name and quality as 
Napoleon's son did not make him great enough and 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 393 

recommend him sufficiently to the sympathy of the 
world, a million francs a year would not compensate 
him for the loss of the rank from which he had been 
cast down ; that she could not resign herself thus to the 
disinheriting of her son, who, already deprived of his 
paternal inheritance was also being stripped of his 
maternal inheritance by an unjust decision on the part 
of the Congress, and who in consequence would 
live outside the pale of the law, without fatherland, 
without a title, and, so to say, without a name— for 
nobody would know how to call him. With regard 
to the idea which she had expressed of separating 
herself from the Emperor I did not fail to remind 
Marie Louise of the affection of which Napoleon had 
so often given her proof, and of the grief which he 
had felt at the obstacles which were placed in the 
way of their meeting, obstacles the responsibility of 
which he was very far from attributing to her. I 
spoke finally of the pain which her husband would 
feel at a separation the whole blame of which would 
fall upon her. I told her that she would be received 
in France like an angel of peace, and that the boon 
of her return would win her the eternal gratitude of 
the French nation ; that I hoped that she would change 
her mind and give up the violent resolution, in forming 
which she could have consulted neither her heart nor 
her interests. I assured her that if she would make 
a statement in exactly the contrary sense expressing 
herself forcibly, this manifestation of her will would 
have very great weight. All that I could say on this 
matter made very little impression on Marie Louise. 
She repeated that she had not been able to consult 
her own feelings nor to rely on her own judgment in 


a question where such grave interests were involved; 
that the advice of her uncle Charles and a lawyer had 
dispelled her uncertainty ; that moreover she had signed 
nothing and would sign nothing before she had come 
to an understanding with the Emperor Napoleon ; that 
she had fully made up her mind not to consent to 
any divorce from him, but that she personally would 
come to a friendly agreement for their separation with 
him as soon as she had liberty to write to him. I 
gave my letters to M. de Montrond begging him not 
to deliver them to anybody but the Due de Vicence. 
He promised me to do so, and faithfully carried out 
his mission. I learnt later, on my return to France, 
that this minister had immediately taken the letters to 
the Emperor. Napoleon, in his anxiety to receive news 
from Vienna, wanted to read the original copy, and 
therefore the precaution which I had wanted to take 
when I asked the minister to make prudent use of my 
communication was of no avail. I asked M. de Montrond 
before his departure if he had been charged with any 
messages from M . de Talleyrand. M. de Montrond g - ave 
me to understand that this minister could for the time 
being be of no service whatever to the Emperor's cause. 
As a matter of fact the hostilities of the allies against 
Napoleon, and the array of force which they were 
marshalling against him, were so great that any wish 
to serve the Napoleonic cause would have been con- 
sidered a crime in the eyes of the allied powers. 
It certainly could not be M. de Talleyrand who would 
defy the resentment which an attitude, so little in 
conformity with his character, and so audacious, would 
have excited aganst him in the coalition. 


News of the Austrian Army from Naples — Retrospective Glance on King 
Joachim's Expedition — His Negotiations with Lord Bentinck — His Feelings 
and His Calculations — His Treaty of Peace with Austria — His Convention 
with Lord Bentinck — Promise of a Definite Treaty Which is Not Realized 
— Pretext for the Non-payment of an Indemnity Due to the King of 
Sicily — The Neapolitan Army Enters the Field— King Joachim's Mistrust 
is Dissipated — Assurances Given by Sir Robert Wilson — Lord Bentinck 
Renews His Adherence to the Treaty with Austria — Efforts of the French 
Ambassador at the Congress to Overthrow King Joachim — The English 
Ambassadors Secretly Support Them — Austria's Hesitation— Communications 
Between King Joachim and the Island of Elba — The King's March to Florence 
— Reverse at Occhiobello — Loss of the Battle of Tolentino — Routing and 
Dispersion of the Neapolitan Army — The King's Return to Naples — He 
Retires to the Island of Ischia — He Embarks for France — His Arrival at 
Cannes — The Queen Asks to be Taken with Her Children to Toulon — She 
is Conducted to Trieste — The Emperor's Refusal to Allow Joachim to Go to 
Paris — The King's Critical Situation After the Return of Louis XVIII.— 
Return to Paris — He is Forced to Hide Himself and Change his Abode 
Frequently — His Letters to Fouche — Marquis de Riviere Advises Him to 
Give Himself Up to Him — The King's Refusal — A Price is Set upon His 
Head — He Determines to Make His Way to Corsica by Havre — He is 
Prevented by Complications of Misfortunes — He Wanders About in the 
Country — Kind Reception Which is Given Him in a Farm — Murderers go 
to Look for Him — He Escapes Them — His Letters to the Authorities of 
the Department and to King Louis XVIII. — He Embarks for Corsica in an 
Open Boat — He Risks Going to the Bottom — Received on Board the Toulon 
Packet at Bastia — Friendly Reception Given to Him at Vescovato— He is 
Persecuted by the Commander of Bastia — Joachim Proceeds to Ajaccio 
with Four Hundred Defenders — He Arms a Flutilla There — He Receives 
an Offer of Refuge in Austria — Tenor of This Document — He Refuses to 
Take Advantage of it — His Reasons — His Letters to M. Macirone — He 
Leaves to Conquer Naples — He Lands at Pizzo — He Fails in His Attempt 
— He is Unable to Embark — He is Made Prisoner and Brought Before a 
Court-Martial— He is Condemned to Death, and Meets His Death with 
Intrepidity — His Letter to the Queen — Reflections, etc. 

I HAVE related how the King of Naples had made up 
his mind to act on the offensive. The Austrian 
manifesto had been published in the official Gazette of 
Vienna, and war had broken out between the two 
States. Each day different reports were current as 
to the march of the Neapolitan troops, as well as to the 
advantages which had not yet been obtained by the 



Austrian army ; these reports kept all minds in suspense. 

The events of this campaign excited the greatest 
interest, especially at Schonbrunn. Archduke Rainier 
came to see the Empress one day and informed her 
that General Neipperg had marched 5000 men against 
a corps of Neapolitan troops near Medina, that he had 
defeated them, and had taken 800 prisoners; that he 
had taken the fort of Carpi by surprise and captured 
it with his cavalry alone, this ranking with General La- 
salle's feat of arms at the taking of Stettin during 
the Jena campaign. Finally, it was said, that after 
several fruitless attacks on Occhiobello to force a 
crossing over the Po, King Joachim had been obliged 
to retreat. Such were the reports which were circu- 
lating in Vienna during the whole month of April. 

Before relating the sad issue of the struggle which 
the King of Naples had entered upon with Austria, 
I must throw a retrospective glance on the causes 
which decided the unhappy Murat to take so desperate 
a resolution. After having left the French army in 
Posen on January 16th, 18 13, the King immediately 
returned to Naples. He felt that his crown w r ould be 
in danger by the consequence of the failure of the 
war against Russia. He lent his ear to the insinuating 
proposals made to him by Austria — Austria maintains 
that Joachim took the initiative. Pourparlers took place 
with the English General, William Bentinck. The King 
offered, without the Emperor's sanction to do so, to 
mediate between France and hostile powers. However, 
the remembrance of the glory which he had won under 
the French flag, the feeling of what he owed to the 
country where he had been born and raised to a high 
rank, his gratitude to and attachment for Napoleon 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 397 

brought him back into the midst of his brothers-in-arms 
during the 1813 campaign. The fatal project which he 
had been turning over in his mind so long a time past, 
and to which a new impetus was given by the battle 
of Leipzig, recalled him a second time to Italy. At 
Erfurth he took what was to be a last farewell of the 
Emperor, and then returned to Naples. He was more 
than ever convinced that Napoleon's power was shaken 
to its foundation, and that it would not be long before 
he would succumb, without any possibility of saving 
him. The Neapolitans, who had King Joachim's con- 
fidence, maintained him in this way of thinking by false 
or true reports which contributed to lead him astray. 
Fouche's advice finally persuaded him that the time 
had at last come when he must separate his fortunes 
from Napoleon. This calculation was based on a prin- 
ciple which proceeded from a feeling of generosity which 
calls for indulgence, and diminishes the culpability of 
his desertion; he had said to himself that if he, the King 
of Naples, the only ally remaining to Napofeon, were to 
be dragged down with Napoleon in a common fall, all 
hope would be for ever lost, but that if on the contrary 
he remained standing on the ruins of the Empire he 
would have the chance of being useful to his bene- 
factor and of being able to hold out his hand to him. 
The splendour of such a role dazzled him. It must 
be admitted also that a less chivalrous motive had 
great influence on his determination. He had learnt 
as a fact, and supposed friends had assured him of it, 
that it was Napoleon's intention to incorporate the 
State of Naples into the Kingdom of Italy. Ac- 
cording to these rumours it was proposed to offer the 
dethroned monarch an indemnity, which, no matter how 

398 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

great it might be, could not be an equivalent of the 
crown of Naples — a crown which he hoped to transmit 
to his children. Murat had accordingly come to the 
conclusion that his throne would not be in safety so 
long as Napoleon's rule remained preponderant in 
Italy. It was thus that he was brought to re-enter 
upon negotiations, which he now approached without 
the same advantages on his side as formerly. On 
January iith, 1814, after a violent struggle between 
his good and evil genius, Murat signed an offensive 
and defensive alliance with Austria, who went surety 
for her allies. By this treaty Joachim engaged to 
pursue the war against France, assisted by the united 
efforts of the allied powers, in the re-establishment of 
a fair balance of power ; and to assure peace to Europe 
and particularly to Italy, where the two contracting 
states mutually guaranteed each other's possessions. The 
avowed object of this treaty was to limit Napoleon's 
Empire to the Alps, the Rhine, and the Pyrenees. 
But Joachim, trusting in the apparent force of the bonds 
which attached the Austrian Emperor to Napoleon's fami- 
ly, could not imagine that the war against France would 
be transformed into a personal war against the daughter 
of the said Emperor of Austria, against his son-in-law, 
and his grandson. General Neipperg, Prince Metter- 
nich's great agent in seduction, was sent to Naples to 
conclude this treaty. Lord W. Bentinck arrived in 
Naples at the same time and signed a convention with 
the Neapolitan Government, which was simply entituled 
an armistice but which proclaimed the State of Naples 
as at peace with England. Free communication was 
re-established between the two States, and the ports 
of both countries were reciprocally opened to trade, 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 399 

whilst the Neapolitan flag was acknowledged and 
protected by England. 

The covenant concluded with General Bentinck was 
considered as being virtually of the same strength as 
a treaty, and was reserved for signature on a future 
occasion, it having been recognized as necessary not to 
lose any time in deciding on the plan of the campaign 
in which the Austrian, English, and Neapolitan troops 
were to take part. Lord Aberdeen was to receive the 
full necessary powers for the conclusion of a definite 
treaty at a subsequent period. The convention was the 
preliminary of this treaty. One of the articles of this 
convention stipulated that in case any unforeseen event 
stood in the way of its ratification, the two parties 
undertook not to recommence hostilities before having 
given each other due preliminary notification. We 
shall see lower down with what object this clause was 
inserted. The promise of a definite treaty was never 
concluded, the English Government, whose good faith 
was with good reason open to suspicion, having alleged 
that if it put off concluding this treaty, it was by 
motives of delicacy and honour which did not allow 
it to impose on a prince allied to England (the King 
of Sicily) a sacrifice of his hereditary states before an 
indemnity had been paid to him. Letters from Lord 
Castlereagh containing the engagement to carry out 
this covenant faithfully were communicated to the 
King. Thus the English Government had only bound 
itself towards the King of Naples by a military 
convention, a convention which the occurrences of war 
might modify entirely. 

In the meanwhile King Joachim, full of confidence, 
immediately opened the campaign, and marched 


upon Bologna without having- the ratification of 
the treaty with Austria. A variety of circumstances 
inspired him for a short time with doubts as to the 
sincerity of his allies. The delay of the Emperor of 
Austria's ratification showed that there was some hesitation 
on the part of this prince. The equivocal attitude of Lord 
Bentinck, who was placed at the head of the Sicilian 
troops, manifested to the former sovereign of the Two 
Sicilies that these troops were intended to conquer back 
again the throne which had been usurped at Naples, the 
summonses addressed to the generals and the officers of 
King Joachim's army to induce them to pronounce them- 
selves against the reigning dynasty, all these threatening 
communications troubled King Murat as well they might. 
On another side the declaration of Sir Robert Wilson, 
English commissioner with the Austrian army in Italy, 
charged by Lord Bentinck as well as by Marshal 
Bellegarde, to dissipate all misunderstanding, tended 
to reassure the reigning sovereign of Naples. General 
Wilson declared to him that he considered Lord Castle- 
reagh's letters containing promises of a formal treaty, 
as documents of a value equal to a treaty itself, and 
that neither the British parliament nor any executive 
authority would hesitate to recognize the validity of 
such an engagement. In his personal opinion, the 
English commissioner said, this promise was more 
binding than a regular treaty because it constituted at 
the same time an appeal to honour, and an obligation 
of good faith. Lord Bentinck himself hastened to 
King Joachim's head-quarters and declared anew that 
his government fully adhered to the treaty concluded on 
January iith between the Emperor of Austria and the 
King of Naples. He also confirmed England's consent 


to the advantages stipulated in Murat's favour, that is 
to say, the cession of the Marches of Ancona, on 
condition that the Neapolitan army should give its 
immediate and active co-operation to the allies. The 
non-payment of the indemnity due to the King of 
Sicily still remained the only alleged cause of delay 
in the conclusion of a formal and definite treaty. Murat 
contented himself with these explanations and no longer 
hesitated. Whilst the King of Naples was relying on 
the good faith of the allies, with whom he w T as making 
common cause, the ambassador of France at the Congress 
of Vienna was making every effort to obtain from the 
Austrian Government that they should break off this 
alliance with Napoleon's brother-in-law. Talleyrand 
was seconded in his task by the English ambassadors 
who, hiding their double game, pressed Austria to 
undertake what they called the Holy War of Legitimacy, 
against a sovereign with whom this power was bound 
by a treaty and to whom she had guaranteed the integrity 
of his states. The Austrian Government, whilst listening to 
these proposals, adjourned its final acquiescence, alleging 
as an excuse that its finances were exhausted. The 
English minister -offered to dispose of this difficulty by 
paying the cost of this expedition and even consented 
to assist the Austrians in their movements with an 
English fleet. When King Joachim was informed 
of these treacherous negotiations, he was either in ig- 
norance of the part which the English ministers had 
taken in it, or else he closed his eyes against proof. 
When it became impossible to doubt any longer that 
he would sooner or later be attacked by Austria he 
decided to prepare himself thoroughly to repel any 

aggression. He entered into communications with the Is- 


402 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

land of Elba and obtained from Napoleon that he would 
forget what had passed, and once more made common 
cause with him in secret. 

Whilst this redoubtable adversary of the allies, leaving 
the obscure retreat from the depths of which he still 
made them tremble, went off to reconquer his Empire 
with one battalion of his faithful guard, the King of 
Naples attacked the Austrians, and drove them back 
from position to position to the banks of the Po. Fickle 
fortune who had so long protected her tw T o favourites, 
luring them on with her last favours, was soon to 
swallow them up in the abyss. Murat advanced rapidly 
upon Reggio, having directedhis right flank on Occhiobello 
and his left on Florence. Pushing his outposts as 
far as Pistoia he marched in the direction of Milan, 
where he was expected, believing that he had only 
to deal with the Austrians. Flattering himself with 
the thought that the English would not interfere in 
his quarrel with Austria, he gave satisfaction to the 
request which was addressed to him by Lord Bentinck, 
not to violate the territory of the King of Sardinia, 
who was England's ally. This condescension on his 
part was to become fatal to him. Crossing a corner 
of the Piedmontese territory Murat could easily have 
crossed the Po at Piacenza which was then in a very 
weak state of defence. He directed his principal efforts 
against Occhiobello, which he was unable to carry by 
storm. His respect for the Sardinian frontier did not 
preserve him from the discomfiture which a treacherous 
enemy inflicted upon him in notifying to him that a union 
of the English forces to the Austrian army had been 
effected, on the pretext that the King of Naples had 
violated the convention between him and England, a 

meneval's memoirs of napoleoin I. 403 

convention, one of the stipulations of whieyi provided 
that he should not attack them without having given 
three months notice of his intention of doin\g so.* 

Joachim then repented that he had not remained on 
the defensive in conformity with his agreement with 
the Emperor Napoleon, and of having yielded to the 
repeated and pressing requests which his ambassadors 
in Vienna and in London had addressed \ to him, to 
urge him to act on the defensive. Not!; allowing 
himself to be cast down, however, by a brow which 
had not altogether taken him by surprise!, Joachim 
undertook to re-establish his forces by nieans of a 
decisive act. He assembled his army, which was still 
of a strength of more than 30,000 men, in a retrenched 
camp between Ancona and Rimini. Two days later 
he gave a great battle with the AustriarTis which 
lasted two days in the plain of Tolentina. line Nea- 
politan army, weakened and demoralized by Iprevious 
defeats, succumbed to the force of an enemy ; numeri- 
cally superior, in spite of the prodigies of valcijur of its 
chief. Disbanded, and the greater part cut of* by the 
Austrian troops, some fell into their power. Ifhe rest 
fled towards Naples and dispersed in every direction. 
This retreat would have been perhaps less disastrous 
had not General Pignatelli-Strongoli, who commanded 
the left wing of the Neapolitan army, prematurely 
quitted Florence, leaving the road open to Rc?me to 

* The convention provided, as we have already said, that in\ case of 
non-ratification hostilities should not be recommenced until after a 
notification given three months in advance. Lord Bentinck had n\ot con- 
sidered the declarations contained in Lord Castlereagh's letter, anid com- 
municated to the King and the positive assurances of the ifcnglish 
General, Wilson, which had been renewed by Lord Bentinck hinjiself as 
the equivalent of a ratification. O Punica fides ! 

404 me:eval's memoirs of napoleon i. 

the Austria General Nugent. Some attribute this 
disastrous legligence on the Neapolitan general's 
part to wnt of order, others to treachery. This 
fatal incidnt, the false reports of Murat's death and of 
the landing of the English in Naples, the open treachery 
of certain officers who propagated discouragement and 
desertion Vy their speeches and by their example; all 
these cause, together caused a panic in the Neapolitan 
army. Joihim, abandoned by his people, had nothing 
left to do but to" return to Naples. He arrived there 
followed ly some horsemen. He entered his capital 
accompanid by Colonel Bonafous, his nephew, and 
four lances. He went straight to the palace where 
he appeard before the Queen, pale and emaciated, in his 
lancer's uriform, covered with dust. He embraced his 
wife ter^lrly and said to her: "All is lost except my 
life, and I was not fortunate enough to find death." 
In takinr leave of the Queen and his children, King 
Joachim cut his hair, which fell in long ringlets on his 
shoulder/, and putting off his decorations dressed 
himself in clothes which did not attract attention. He 
walked along the coast until he was opposite the Island 
of Nisda, and there got into a boat which landed him on 
the Isand of Ischia, where he passed three days without 
being recognized. On the fourth day, as he was walk- 
ing abng the beach accompanied by his faithful nephew, 
and vas deliberating with him on the best means for 
escaping to France, he noticed a little sailing ship on 
the eakt which was approaching them. The king hailed 
this yessel and flinging himself into a fishing smack, 
orde ie d its owner to go and meet it. What were his 
Mirpvse and joy when he recognized on board the 
] )uke of R < >cca-Romana, his Grand Equerry, and Marquis 


Giulani, his aide-de-camp, who had succeeds 
ing from Naples, and who were looking ? f° r their 
unfortunate sovereign. The King before" 5 his final 
departure from Naples had divided a consid erable sum 
in gold between these two officers, and hac f told them 
of his plan of going to Ischia with his nep] new an d of 
embarking there for France. Their meet m g, which 
had been delayed by obstacles as one can ea lsu "y under- 
stand, having thus fortunately been effectee'l* tne king 
landed in Cannes with his faithful companio ns towards 
the end of May, 1815, after a crossing which had been 
disturbed by no incident. 

During the Odyssey which we have just rel<^ e " Queen 
Caroline had opened negotiations with Lord ' Exmouth, 
who was commander of the English fleet befc re Naples, 
offering him two Neapolitan ships of war on cor ydition that 
she should be transported to Toulon with he 1 children, 
whom she had already placed in safety at G , a ^ta ; but 
Admiral Exmouth, who knew that the ships woul ^ be his in 
any case, refused to receive the Queen except t<? conduct 
her to Trieste, and to place her in the hands of l tne Aus- 
trian authorities. Forced to submit to these hui^^ting 
conditions, and having fortunately escaped the effects 
of a riot which she quelled by her courage and c^ mness > 
Caroline Murat embarked on the English frigc-te, and 
making sail for Gaeta where Napoleon's sister took in 
her young family, she was conducted to Trieste. King 
Joachim immediately on landing in Cannes, \* T °te to 
Fouche charging him to speak for him to the Emperor 
and to ask the latter to allow him to go tc Paris. 
Napoleon's only answer was to ask his brother m ~l aw 
what treaty of peace had been concluded b(' tween 
France and Naples since 18 14. Fouche in consec uenc e 


at to remain where he was, adding that it was 
Min possible for him to render service to his native country 
by exciting.' the inhabitants and the troops to vigorous 
resistance to the enemies within and without — a kind 
of service which Murat was never to render, for he had 
no weight -whatever with the French, who did not forget 
his desertion in 1814. Murat then retired into a little 
country hor-ise in the neighbourhood of Toulon. 

In the irieanwhile took place the battle of Waterloo, 
in consequ ence of which Napoleon definitely abdicated 
in favour o>f his son and a provisional government com- 
mission entered into functions. After Louis XVIII. 
returned feo Paris, Joachim who until then had been 
protected ;by the Imperial authorities found himself 
placed in -a most critical position. He was forced to 
quit the retreat where he had passed six weeks with- 
out beinr interfered with. Exposed to danger by 
murderers, who were seeking for him to kill him, he 
dared nc't go out to change his refuge except in the 
night, fearing if he were taken to have to submit to 
the fate (pf the unfortunate Marshal Brune.* Murat had 
spread the report that he had escaped to Tunis, but 
his persecutors did not long remain the dupes of this 
strategy- The Marquis de Riviere, the same who had 
been condemned to death for his co-operation in Georges's 
conspiracy, and whose pardon Murat had obtained, 
wrote ' r r-o him and advised him to surrender into his 
hands. M. de Riviere exhorted Joachim to trust to 
the humanity and good faith of the King of France, 
as well as to the word of Lord Exmouth who associated 

* Guill aume-Maric-Anne Bruno, Marshal of France (1763 — 1815) was 
murdered at Avignon, shortly after the battle of Waterloo, at the instigation 
of l<<>\.. list agents. Ili> murderers were never punished.— R. 11. s. 


himself in this application. The letter w' cn * nave 
just spoken of was handed to King J * irn "Y a 
M. Joliclerc, general commissary of police, ^ no knew 
Murat's hiding-place, and who refused t( r eveai *■ 
His refusal to become an instrument of tre; nei T P ro " 
cured this honourable man's dismissal froi nis P ost - 
Joachim, having declined Marquis de Rivier 3 oner, as 
he might be expected to do, would no " ave an Y 
more confidence - in Admiral Exmouth, whc nac * P revl " 
ously refused him an asylum on board his eet wmlst 
awaiting the decision of the allied powers Dout " im ' 
unable to find any safety in France made )} nis mmcl 
to go to Havre and to proceed thence ti Corsica. 
With this purpose in view Duke de Rocc Romana 
freighted a vessel and embarked for this P ort wltn 
Colonel Bonafous and two of the king's sery ants ' a 
they were charged with his money and h. 5 c l° tnes - 
As soon as they were on board they wer, to sen0 - 
a boat to a distant point in the bay of Toul m wnere 
the king would hold himself in readiness tc emDa ™- 
Unfortunately the boat went out of its way, ancl a:tter 
having searched for the King in vain return^ to 
ship without having found him. The murder ers ' w 
had heard of this plan of escape and whc though 
that Joachim had gone in the boat, boarded t ne vessel 
and, unable to find the man whom they were loc ,lan £ ' 
obliged the captain to hoist sail forthwith. '.^ e kin £ 
left his hiding-place after nightfall and trie*-} to fin 
the boat, but as he was in ignorance of the mistak e whlc 
had occurred, passed the night in the most anxlous 

* Meneval probably means America. There would be n!° ^°° . 1 
going right across France to Havre in order to embark fc '•? 01 ' 
which was within easy reach of Toulon. — R. H. s. 

408 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

waiting. As soon as the day broke he ran along the 
shore climting up every eminence to try to discover 
the vessel which meant freedom for him. He at last 
saw it under sail, but was unable to find any means 
of drawing attention to himself. Each moment removed 
the ship further and further away from his eyes, until 
at last he lost sight of it altogether. Heart-broken 
with this new misfortune Murat did not know wmat 
was to become of him. Fortunately, however, in the 
midst of his misfortunes he did not return to the 
asylum which he had left, and it was well he did not 
do so for -he would have fallen into the hands of his 
persecutors, who not having found him on board the 
vessel hoped to lay hands upon him in this retreat. 
The wretched man walked as chance guided his steps, 
avoiding ,the neighbourhood of the ports and big 
buildings, and wandered thus for several days and 
nights through the woods and the vineyards. Finding 
barely enough to eat, worn out by fatigue, urged on 
by hunger, the unhappy proscript ventured to enter a 
farm. He only found an old woman there, and 
introducing himself to her as an officer of the Toulon 
garrison/ who had lost his way asked her to give 
him something to eat. The good woman receiving 
him with cordiality told him that in the absence of 
her master who had gone out for a walk she would 
make hir<n an omelette. Whilst she was busying her- 
self in piVeparing it the master of the house* returned. 
Seeing ia stranger sitting at his table he asked for 
another omelette and sat down by the side of his guest 
to share this modest repast with him. The resemblance 

* Unfr Mtunatcly the author has not recorded the name of this gener- 
ous projector of the unfortunate and illustrious proscript 


between the stranger and the portrait of t foe King of 
Naples which he had seen in the Imperial ! Hall at the 
Tuileries Palace struck the new-comer. Ixte told the 
King so, and Murat confessed who he tWas. This 
excellent man then rose with tears in his eye^s, begging 
the King to forgive him for the liberty wit h which he 
had acted towards him, and placed himself and 'everything 
he possessed at his entire disposal. The \ good wife 
troubled by this sudden recognition, hearin g what her 
master said, was seized with a fit of nervoue > trembling 
and dropped the omelette which she held if 1 her hand. 
The King remained hidden in this house for several 
days whilst its owner, who was a naval officer, busied 
himself in conjunction with some friends whom he had 
taken into the secret with the best ways of -providing 
for the subsistence and wants of his illustrio'us guest. 
In the meanwhile the King's enemies, excited by the hope 
of getting hold of the gold and diamonds wliich they 
believed he carried with him, had been hunting for him 
with renewed activity. The old woman who wai charged 
to guard King Joachim discharged this duty witli indefa- 
tigable perseverance. She watched all night whilst he was 
asleep, sitting at the window of the house, which was 
situated on an eminence, from which she coull see all 
that was going on around. During the night ol August 
13th, a gang of about sixty men came up lie path 
which led to the house where Murat was hid:ig, but 
the vigilant old woman saw them by the lipit of a 
lantern which they were carrying. Suspectinf their 
evil purpose she hastened to waken the King aid told 
him of the danger which he was running. J<achim 
was sleeping in his clothes, his dagger and two pairs 
of pistols beside him. He covered himself win all 


speed with a great frock coat under which he hid his 
arms, and then this intrepid Paladin, this fearless knight, 
who so many a time had confronted death at the 
wars, was forced to hide himself under the foliage ol 
a vine which was situated less than thirty paces from 
his refuge. Barely had he got out of the house when 
it was surrounded. The old woman had shut the 
door to get rid of the mattress on which the king had 
been sleeping and put everything in order in his room. 
She kept the brigands waiting outside the door, pretend- 
ing that she had to dress herself. As soon as she 
had opened the door they rushed into the house, 
searching 'everywhere, whilst some of them explored 
the garde n and the vineyards, passing and repassing 
many tinges near the spot where the King was hidden, 
vomiting] forth imprecations against him, expressing 
their hopes of finding him, of taking him alive or of 
killing him, and of sharing his spoils. Joachim's mind 
was full y made up, in case he were discovered, to 
rush upo>n his murderers and to sell his life dearly ; 
and, rath'ier than fall into their hands, to blow his brains 
out witl 1 his own hands. Having escaped from this 
danger f he returned to the house because he thought 
that as l it had been searched through and through he 
would b'le safer there than anywhere else. His faithful 
host hac<l given it up to him and had gone to sleep in 
the city< 1 , so as to divert attention from it. The unfor- 
tunate Jfroachim had addressed himself to the authorities 
of the (department to ask for their protection, assuring 
them ( of his firm resolution not to trouble public 
reposet either by words or by acts. At the same time 
he wri/otc to Louis XVIII. appealing to his generosity 
and ^magnanimity, but he received no answer to his 


letter. Tired at last with uselessly awaiting ? a message 
from the allies, under whose protection he' pressingly 
demanded to place himself, he began to J despair of 
ever receiving it It was impossible for hin 111 to remain 
in hiding any longer. A price had been pl r ( ace d on his 
person, or rather on his head; 24,000 frai lcs reward 
was offered to the man who should gv?/ e mm U P- 
That meant the sale of his life, because r t wa s very 
well known that he would not be taken alive. In 
this terrible position he did not know w nat would 
become of him. There was no chance of] sa -fety for 
him in a journey by land and it was too . ^e to go 
and join the Duke of Rocca-Romana and h-- ls nephew 
at Havre. 

Corsica was the only country which could" offer him 
an asylum. The adventurous character of ' the inha- 
bitants of this island, with their mountains, and the thick 
jungles in their woods, offered him a safe retreat until 
the day when the intentions of the allies with relj' erence to 
his person would be known to him. It was acijf or dingly 
decided upon that the King and his host shoved make 
an attempt to reach Corsica in an open bo ,a t- The 
King's host offered himself to conduct this expedition 
with the assistance of his friends. On Aug ust 22nd 
Joachim wrote to Fouche to inform him of his ] ^ ari > an d 
on the evening of the same day he embarked a,t Toulon 
with his three friends. On the 24th a violei 1 ^ storm 
broke out. The fragile boat kept filling wit^ 1 wat er, 
which they were forced to bale out with th< 31r hats. 
In the afternoon, seeing a ship sailing in an opposite 
direction they approached it and asked to be tAken on 
board, offering the captain a sum of money t*P ta ^e 
them to Bastia. The captain of this ship, whict 1 was 


* wines for Toulon, alarmed at being thus 

accosted b\. r . , •, i 

•J - four men who were heavily armed, and 

i suspected of having evil designs, not only 

" ir offer but did his best to sink their boat, 

J ly would have succeeded in doing so, but for 
the coolnes * , . ... r . T ^. , ,. 

s and skill of the King and his companions, 

. r to their presence of mind were enabled to 

. ^ . . :1 danger. Under the first impulses of their 

r they wanted to board the ship and revenge 
themselves, . ... ,.,. , , . a 

on the ill-conditioned crew, but on reflection, 

' : hey abandoned this plan. A few minutes 

'ling and his friends were fortunate enough 

t'vith the packet which plied regularly between 
Toulon ant, ^ . 
./-d Bastia. 

rin the nick of time, for it would have been no 

. f ssible for them to keep afloat. Their boat had 

/ 'msly damaged by the storm and in the course of 

Tinter which they had engaged in against the 

° *essel. The King met several eminent people 

,• the packet-boat to whom he was known, and who 

ving the South of France from motives of pru- 

Murat spent a day at Bastia, and on the 

" proceeded with his three comrades to Vescovato^ 

a big village fifteen miles to the south of Bastia. 

t straight up to the biggest house, which be- 

° ( to M. de Colonna-Ceccaldi, mayor of this 

° ' f< who was a warm partisan of the Bourbons for 

pause he had endured many years of exile. 

'aldi enjoyed a well-merited reputation for up- 

>s and generosity in the country. The King dis- 

f himself to him, informing him of the reasons 

"'obliged him to seek refuge in Corsica, and begged 

r;0 grant him his hospitality until it would be 

meneval's MEMOIRS OF NAPOLEC/ n I- 4 ] 3 

possible for him to know the decision < X tne allied 
sovereigns with reference to him. M. C olonna-Cec- 
caldi received King Joachim with respect, ,\ an d assured 
him that the laws of hospitality were sa(t re d to the 
Corsicans : he added that no order emanatirj g" from the 
Government obliged the subjects of the Kimfe °f France 
to treat a Frenchman who had been sovereign 11 °f Naples 
as an enemy. The King had the greatest satisfaction 
in meeting one of his aides-de-camp in thi.p house, an 
officer named Franceschetti, who had rehired there 
quite recently with his wife, M. de Ceccaldi" s daughter. 
In the meanwhile the commander of tl x ie town of 
Bastia having heard of King Joachim's prese£ nce m Cor- 
sica sent him orders to consider himself ' a prisoner 
until the King of France's decision concerning" him 
should be made known. Murat refused to* obey the 
orders of an officer in whom he recognized :^° author- 
ity whatever over his person. The military ,f om _ 
mander of Bastia then declared Joachim the jL^emy f 
Louis XVIII. , and a perturbator of the pub.j c pe ace. 
He sent some hundred soldiers to Vescovato t cap ture 
him, but in the meanwhile M. Ceccaldi's fri^ n( j s an d 
relations had united to repel this attempt at Jv iolence 
for they considered it their bounden duty an j a pom t 
of honour to assist in defending their host's p-lorious 
guest, who had placed himself under the pro^ ect j on f 
their hospitality. To this force which in the < ourse f 
a few days had reached the number of c, ver s j x 
hundred men who had hastened from every point in 
the island, two hundred more men, veterans ano « f or 
the most part officers who had formerly serve (( j un d er 
the King's orders, and who had come back hor ne a ft e r 
the fall of the Empire, added themselves. 



The soldi crs w ho had been sent from Bastia miHit 
consider themselves very lucky to be able to return with- 
out injury. ! The men who had helped King Joachim 
urged him ' co seize upon Bastia and even the whole of the 
island, promising him the assistance of the troops and of 
the greater- par t of the inhabitants. Murat thanked 
these good - people for their zeal, but had no hesitation 
in saying t'hat he considered himself a fugitive who 
had come tv Q Corsica in search of hospitality alone, and 
had no right to make any attempt against the sove- 
reignty ofi King Louis XVIII. Three weeks having 
passed by ■.-. without his having received any answer 
whatever f- v0 his letters from the allies, which made 
him suppo* se that he was abandoned and proscribed by 
the European powers, and persuaded that there was 
no other i resource for him than to listen to the prompt- 
ings of h^s despair, he took the resolution to endeavour 
to win baA c k his crown by conquest, even were he to find 
death in yhe adventure. To avoid coming to blows with 
the superior commander of Bastia, Murat left Vescovato. 
He accented the service of four hundred men selected 
amongst > the braves who had offered him their help, 
and proc eeded with them to Ajaccio. On his approach 
the authorities of the town retired with the exception 
of the n| ta y 0rj who remained behind to protect public 
peace. /The inhabitants received King Joachim with 
respect J^and his troops behaved with absolute discipline. 
Ihe Ki/T n g- refused the hospitality which was offered to 
him in |« private houses, so as to compromise nobody, 
iin< l W( nt to live in an inn. It was there that he 
arrangi d f or the purchase of five ships, and collected 
the ar M j. ls an( ] ammunition necessary tor his expedition. 
I heso ( -preparations lasted several days. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleo, n l 4 j 5 

Whilst the adventures of which we have SjP oken were 
taking place, one of King Joachim's aides- de ' cam P °* 
British origin, Captain Macirone, who happ ( enec * to be 
in Paris for reasons which have nothing f° ^° Wltn 
this story, and from whose book I have aln, 3ad y taken 
a great part of these particulars,* and who w aa Dus y m §" 
himself to be useful to King Murat, known 8" touches 
former relations with his dethroned king; nacl a P" 
proached this minister, who had made use of i llls services 
with the Duke of Wellington at a time whei 1 tne -^uke 
of Otranto was secretly treating with th' e -k n gl lsn 
general. Macirone taking advantage of hi. 3 relations 
with Lord Wellington had implored the ]^ tters al( * 
to obtain from M. de Metternich the pro • Tnse of a 
refuge in Austria for King Joachim, and hej had suc " 
ceeded in his application as will be seen b^ reading 
the following document : 

" M. Macirone is authorized by these presents . ° mtorm 
King Joachim that his Majesty the Emperor of At astria wiU 
grant him an asylum in his States under the follo\ vm & con " 
ditions : ^ 

"i. The King will take the name of a priva;. e P erson - 
The Queen having assumed the name of Lipona f it is, P ro P osecl 
that the King should do so also. 

" 2. The King will be at liberty to select a town m 
Bohemia, Moravia, or in Upper Austria, and to tai v:e U P 
abode there. Should he wish to settle in the coun [tr ^ mere 
would be no objection to his doing so in the same p t rovmces - 

" 3. The King will give his word of honour to his lm P erial 
and Royal Majesty not to leave the Austrian States. wlthout 
the express sanction of His said Majesty, that he wi, e as 
a distinguished private person who is subject to the't s in 

* " Interesting Facts Relating to the Fall and Death of Joachin] Murat - ' 
•j* Anagram on the w ord Napoli. — R. H. S. \ 

4 16 memeyal's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

force in the*; Austrian States, in favour of which and in 
order that suitable use may be made of it the undersigned 
has received the Imperial orders to sign the present declaration. 

"Given in Paris on Sept. ist, 1815. 


"(Signed) Metterxich." 

Provided 1 , with this declaration and with passports, 
Macirone 'proceeded to Toulon, where he heard that 
King Murat had left for Corsica. Thereupon Captain 
Macirone, being anxious to carry out his mission success- 
fully, embarked for Bastia. In this port he had an 
interview with the English Captain, Bastard, who was 
in command of the " Meande? '", a frigate of the British 
navy. This', officer having - informed him of King Joachim's 
preparations, and of the expedition which he was pre- 
paring, dfd not conceal from Macirone that there was 
great excitement at Naples, but that necessary arrange- 
ments wore being made to repel this audacious attack. 
The conAmander of the English vessel declared at the 
same tin le that he had received orders to oppose Murat's 
adventurous enterprise by force, and that he should make 
his arrangements so as to capture the king's flotilla after 
he had Ueft port, and was at some distance from the 
coast. I ( 3efore leaving Bastia himself Macirone received 
a visit firom two Corsicans there* who had come from 
Leghorn' 1 on the "Meander" . G>ae of them was a 
captain ' in the Royal Corsican Regiment in British 
service. ' The other was a civil servant in the new govern- 
ment (/!)f the new King of Naples. These emissaries 
carried ) orders from the Neapolitan minister, who enjoined 
upon ti'iem to resist King Joachim's expedition by every 
means nn their power. Like Captain Bastard they thought 

[■ *Thc Brothers Carabclli. 

meneval's memoirs of napolec c ,n l 4I 7 

that having seen M. Macirone, Murat w h ° uld accept 
the refuge offered him by the Emperor of Austria - 
Macirone arrived in Ajaccio on Sept. 28th, bf rin §" in § two 
servants who had been in his service, with m P ne y> nnen > 
and clothes. In spite of the affectionate cor } diallt y Wlth 
which the king received Macirone he refusr listen 

to his advice. The captain in vain urged v * nm m t e 
most pressing way to make up his mind tc^ acce P t tne 
offers of hospitality of the Austrian Goverrr iment * > He 
had sdven orders that Toachim should be receive rieste 

) Y h 1 

whither he would be transported by an Eng- lsn y essel - 
The King answered that it was too late, that / he die was 
cast ; that he had already waited for the de<f lsl0n of the 
allied powers for a space of three months, during .which time 
his life had been constantly menaced; that fin,^' P erse " 
cuted as he was by the sovereigns of Europe, he \ d made 
up his mind to risk all and to endeavour t° recover 
the throne which he had lost. King Murat furtl) |ier added 
that in spite of all the confidence in his success, v^ which 
he was animated, he cared very little for the! result ot 
his expedition. If he failed in his enterprise r e wou ld 
at least have the comfort of losing his life, aftf.' r having 
so often confronted death on so many fields of ba, 
also said that the failure of his campaign agains ^ ustrla 
could not deprive him of his right as a kir.'S" wnich 
had been acknowledged by the whole of Eur ; °P e ' a 
that he had signed no abdication. The fina '_ ^ eason 
which urged him to persevere in his determin;.'- lon e 
vindicate his rights to the crown was that ir 1 RCtm g 
otherwise he would have gratuitously compj~ omis 
three hundred brave officers and soldiers, w 
wished to follow him, and whom it was impose 
abandon to the revenge of the French Royal Gover nment - 



Captain Macirone despairing of turning King Joachim 
away from his foolhardy enterprise begged him at 
least for a written answer to the proposal which he had 
been comrrissioned to lay before him. The King, who 
did not wish to make his plans public yet, informed 
Captain Macirone in a letter that he ■ accepted the 
passport which had been sent him, that he intended to 
make use of it to proceed to the destination which was 
mentioned upon it." But subsequently, on the night 
which preceded his departure, King Murat addressed 
another later to Macirone in which he admitted that 
his first communication had been dictated to him by 
the necessity imposed upon him of hiding his true designs, 
and that he owed it to truth, to his own dignify, and 
to the nolle frankness and good faitli of the captain, 
to acquaint him at last with his real intentions. This 
very long letter, in which King Joachim bitterly com- 
plained of the way in which the allied forces had treated 
him, terminated with the declaration that he w T as leaving 
to go ard reconquer his kingdom, and that he would 
already be some distance on his way at the time w T hen 
Captain Vlacirone should receive his letter.* 

Macircne thought it his duty to inform the commander 
of the English vessel of King Joachim's departure, but 
took care not to do so until the King's little fleet had got 
forty-eight hours start. Murat's intention was to land at 
Salerno, which is a port situated about thirty miles from 
Naples, pvhere a considerable number of the old Neapolitan 
troops were being reorganized; but, a storm having 
separated him from his flotilla, he made up his mind, 
instead of returning to Salerno, to rally the rest of his 

♦This letter will be found at the end of the volume. 

meneval's memoirs of napolec >n l 4I 9 

forces, and to land immediately in the n eighr bourhoodof 

Pizzo. The felucca, on board which K^ n §" J oachim 

found himself, carried about thirty old ofi icers of his ' 

amongst whom was General Franceschetti.' 

troop, at the head of which Murat placed } :limself ln a 

general's uniform, was pacifically receive ^ some 

coastguards who happened to be on the beach ; and 

who recognized King Joachim. They marc without 

loss of time to the town of Pizzo and entered tne market " 

place. Murat addressed the inhabitants who, sum) unded 

him, and some saluted him as their King, o nn £ 

horses which served to mount his troop' s ' 

majority displayed timidity and hesitation 1, J oacmm 

continued his march on Monteleone with? ut res P lte - 

The agent of the Duke de l'lnfantado, wl 10 en J°y ed 

great influence with the inhabitants on acco unt 


duke's immense possessions at Pizzo and elsewnere ' 

addressed them after Murat's departure and ^ hreatene d 

them with the vengeance of Ferdinand's gove rnm 

they did not oppose the usurper's march. even 

succeeded in making a troop take arms, ai, pl acecl 

himself at their head. On his march or 1 Monte " 

leone King Joachim fell in with a colonel & en " 

darmerie named Trentacapelli, who was on ^ a ^ 

from Monteleone to Pizzo. Murat invited hu 11 to Jom 

them, but this officer who had little confi dence in 

resources so feeble for so great an enterprise res P ect ' 

fully declined the offer. The colonel said, po: 1 ^ 1 ^ t0 

Monteleone, that he could only recognize as :{ m % e 

man whose flap- should float on those towers. rem a- 


capelli, whom the King had very imprudently allowea 
to continue his way to Pizzo, met the T u 
l'lnfantado's agent there urging the people t' a e U P 



arms for King Ferdinand. The colonel added his 
efforts and the influence of his authority to the agent's 
exhortation ; then placing himself at the head of a large 
troop he marched rapidly in pursuit of King Joachim 
and came up with him very soon about half way to 
Monteleone. King Joachim and his friends seeing 
Trentacapel li's troops coming along at great speed in 
the distance imagined that they were coming to join 
them. Actuated by this idea the King interrupted 
his march, thinking that it would be a good thing to 
await reinforcements before entering Monteleone. On 
the approach of this imaginary reinforcement Murat 
walked a few paces towards this troop, when some of 
his followers shouted out: "Long live King Joachim. " 
To their great surprise this was answered with a discharge 
of musketiry. A fierce encounter ensued and the party 
of King Murat, who defended himself with the courage 
of despair, lost some men killed, and many wounded. 
Having to deal with an enemy numerically much 
superior, ' and unable to advance on Monteleone with 
his enemies behind him, the King made up his mind 
to return to his ship, and followed by General Frances- 
chetti an d a dozen others he cut his way through the 
thick of his enemies wounding several with his own 
hand and discharging his pistol point-blank at Colonel 
Trentaca pclli, whom he missed. The vigour of his 
attack disconcerted the enemy and filled their ranks 
with cotifusion, of which the King took advantage to 
run to t k he place in the bay whore he had left his ship. 
He had( received no injuries although all his comrades 
had bcon wounded. 

In th e meanwhile the commander of the expedition- 
ary fl. *', Barbara, Piedmontese officer, now in the 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 421 


King's service, having heard firing and considering 
his personal safety only, or perhaps bought over by 
Ferdinand's agent, had left the coast, abandoning King 
Joachim to his fate. In this desperate 'situation the 
King jumped into the water to reach a fishing boat 
which was within reach, followed by Franceschetti 
and the remainder of his followers. /Fate would 
have it that this boat had unfortunately settled in the 
sand, and the united efforts of the fugitives to run it 
out into the sea were in vain. They then ran up to 
a smaller boat which was within twenty; paces, and 
meanwhile the coast was covered with / the King's 
enemies who watched them with astonishment, without 
firing or without approaching them. To rriake matters 
worse, this little boat in which the King I could have 
escaped with his followers was chained to the shore, 
and all efforts to break the chain were fruitless. The 
fisherman to whom the boat belonged, an(d who was 
perhaps afraid of losing his boat, pulled at the chain, 
whilst another fisherman who had run upf seized on 
the King, who with one blow of his htead butted 
him into the sea. The example given by these two 
fishermen was followed by other assailants, and the 
boat was soon completely surrounded. No violence 
was committed upon the King, who stood up in the 
midst of his assailants, adjuring them to let him go, 
and as a last hope showing them his pcissport for 
Trieste. Finding them deaf to his appeals Joachim was 
obliged to give himself up into the hancfls of his 
enemies. News of this important capture ' ving been 
telegraphed to the Neapolitan Ministry 1 order was 
sent back by telegraph that a court-mar should be 
called together to try, and to sentence, 1 Ijoachim. 


It is known 1 now v .ery expeditious was this trial 
Murat listend 3 ^ to n ^ s sentence with a smile of contempt. 
He had writj en tne following letter to his wife, enclos- 
ing a lock c ,f hls hair:— 

u My dear Caroline, 

Mjyjy last hour has come In a few moments I shall 
have ceased t0 l* ve > * n a ^ ew mom ents you will have no 
husband Nc ver f° r S et me > d° not curse my memory. 
I die innocen^ Farewell my Achilles, farewell my Lsetitia, 
farewell my Lucien, farewell my Louise— show yourselves 
worthy of me t0 tne wor ld. I leave you without a kingdom, 
without wealth' * R tne m idst of my enemies. Remain constantly 
united show /ourselves superior to misfortune. Think of what 
vou are and wnat vou have been. God will bless you. 
Know that n 47 greatest grief in the last moments of my life 
is to die far ; rom m y c hildren. Receive my paternal blessings ; 
receive my hisses and my tears, and ever hold in your 
memory your chappy father. 

" Pizzo ZT - l ^* 1815. "(Signed) Joachim." 

King" M Lirat declared that he died in the Roman 
Catholic re^8^ on an( ^ begged the assistance of a priest, 
who comfo rte d his last moments. He placed a portrait 
of his wife anc * ms chilciren on his bosom, and then 
refusing tc Slt down on tne bench which was offered 
him or to a H° w bis eyes to be bandaged, he himself 
ave t | ie word of command to fire, and not a single 
muscle of n ' s ^ ace betrayed that he felt the slightest 
emotion Thus perished by an obscure death a man 
to whom 'tunc, having taken him from a very lowly 
nosition \ reserved the loftiest destiny. An intrepid 
sn ] ( | lrr j, . loyal, generous, throughout his whole 
career a* " )n tnc throne which he had admirably 


occupied he had carried all these brilliant^ qualities to 
excess. Animated by too much confiden- ce " e mac *e 
peace with his enemies when he shoulc^ have con- 
tinued to make war, and recommenced war wnen 
he should have maintained an expect?" nt attitude, 
which is what brought about his ruin. > 


I Think of R ^turning to France — I am Requested by the Emperor of 
Austria to Postpc me m }' Departure — The Interference of the Police Becomes 

Intolerable Arrit v ' a ^ m Vienna of Letters Brought by MM. de Flahaut and 

Stassart Creation 1 °f New Kingdoms— Remarks Made as the Empress was 

Going By Pray ers an d Processions for the Success of the New War — 

Marie Louise Ref: mses to ^e Present at These Prayers with the Court— Her 

Conduct is App Uoved of by the Emperor of Austria — Letter Addressed to 
the Empress bv Queen Julia — My Last Conversation with the Empress on 
This Occasion — ^ Jhe Distress of the King of Saxony and His Brother— The 
King of Saxony ' Resigns Himself to the Loss of Half his States — Assiduities 
of the Emperor ' Alexander to Prince Schwarzenberg — Anecdote — Death of 
Countess Neippei, 'S — The Guard of Honour at Parma Cries "Long Live the 

Emperor" Extra! ordinary Display of Forces by the Coalition— Marie Louise 

Busies Herself Jfwith Great Interest over Her Arrangements in Parma — 
Remarks Made bi 7 tne Archduke John— The Grand-Duke of Baden — Feastday 
of May ist CejP e k r ated * n Vienna by the Sovereigns — Act of Devotion on 
Marie Louise's TiPart — I at Last Obtain My Passport on Condition of Being 
Accompanied b 1 -/ an Austrian Officer — I Go to Take Leave of the Young 

Prince The Eir n P eror °f Austria Grants Him a Name and a Title — What 

Count Dietrichs ! ; tein, His Tutor, Says of the Duke of Reichstadt — I Take 
Leave of the Er' n P rcss — -My Departure from Schonbrunn— Prince de Wagram 
Passes Through Waldsee on His Way to Baden--He is Forced to Return 

to Bambero- I ' ■> am Visited at Belfort, by General Lecourbe, Chief of the 

Staff — M. de ft ^larmier Raises a Free Company at His Own Expense — My 
Arrival in Pi "is — First Audience with the Emperor — Prolonged Daily 
Conversations—^ -The Emperor's Melancholy and Resignation — His Kindness 

Towards Me I Papers Stolen from the Imperial Archives by M. de Talleyrand 

— Visit to the! Duke of Otranto — His Remarks About the Emperor — His 
Understanding. * with Prince Metternich — The Additional Act— Madame de 
Stael's ApproJ .' & 1 of this Act — The Emperor Leaves for the Army — Order 
of the Day to I r the Army — The Desertion of General Bourmont an 1 Others — 
Ligny and w! aterloo — The Emperor Returns to Paris — He is Abandoned 
by the Chamly ers — H' s Abdication — Fatal Error of the Chambers — Plenipo- 
tentiaries Sen J* to th c Allies — Fouch6's Culpable Intrigues— Plan of the 
Prussians to n 'roclaim a Prussian Prince King of France— Letter from Joseph 
Bonaparte on/ the Conduct of the Chambers in 1815 — Lanjuinais and Sieves 
— Comparison! Between La Fayette and Carnot — Letter from Joseph Bonaparte 
About M. de^' Lafayette — The Emperor at the Elvsee and at I. a Malmaison 
— Provisional Government Commission — Fouche's Duplicity — Equivocal Re- 
cognition of v Napoleon II. — About M. de Caulaincourt — His Marriage with 
Madame <le < > lanisy -Picture of La Malmaison — My Last Conversation with 
the Emperor ''—I Leave La Malmaison Too Soon — My Grief 00 Finding on 
the Morrow *^ ' |; ' 1 1nr Emperor had Left for Rochefort — Napoleon's Offei to 
Place Himsej f Temporarily at the Head of the Army — Refusal of This Offer 
by the Provifl sional Government Reflections on the Fall of the Great Empire 
• — Talleyrand * ;m< ' Fouche* The Emperor's Departure from La Malmaison — 
II Arrival nt Rochefort— Refusal of Offers to Convey him to America — 
He Proceed o*i t() tn,v English Station— His Letter to tne Prince Regent of 


meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 425 

England— He Leaves on Board the Northumberlanl for St. Helena 
Where he Dies After a Long Agony— End of the Vienra Congress— Sig- 
nature of the Acts by the Various Plenipotentiaries— Revision of the States 
of Parma to the Son of the Former Queen of Etruria— Maie Louise's Tardy 
Departure for Her New States— End of the Task which J Have Assumed- 
Napoleon's Long Agony— His Strength of Character— Dream on the Occa- 
sion of His Death-Sad Reflections on the Destiny of This Great Man- 
England's Role, and Appreciations on the Future Which .Vwaits Her. 

VARIOUS letters which I had received recalled 
me to France. I myself felt that the lack of in- 
formation which was experienced there rendered my 
early departure necessary, and I accordingly made up 
my mind to ask for the necessary authorization for 
going there. On April 9th I begged the Empress 
to ask the Emperor of Austria to grant me a passport, 
which could only be delivered with the special per- 
mission of this prince. After some very affectionate 
attempts to dissuade me from going, Marie Louise was 
good enough to promise to speak to her father on the 
subject. I awaited the result of this promise for some 
days, at the end of which the Empress told me that 
she had had great difficulty in getting the Emperor 
of Austria to allow me to go ; and that before ordering 
a passport to be given to me he wanted me to see 
Prince Metternich, and that I should be ^ent for at 
any moment by this minister. I resigned mys elf without 
reluctance to this delay. Half-confidences, the variations 
in the language of the influential people w(ith whom 
I was brought into contact, comparisons which I was 
enabled to draw, thanks to the role of olpserver to 
which I was reduced, the indefinite adjournment of the 
Emperor of Austria's departure for Prague , a whole 
concatenation of circumstances and indications bad 
given birth to certain hopes in my heart, wh^ch were 
unfortunately never to be realized. 


I had no doubt that some event or other was being 
waited for, it may be one of those lightning-strokes to 
which the Emperor Napoleon was so accustomed, which 
might encourage the tendencies of the Austrian Cabinet 
and induce it to charge me with some message for 
him. M. de Talleyrand had told somebody that he 
worked a great deal with the Prime Minister, and that 
he had noticed that he often varied. In telling the 
reader of these deductions of mine I only give them 
as conjectures on my part, seeing that I was never 
called to the audience to which I expected to be 

Life at Schonbrunn and in Vienna had become 
intolerable for French people: the police behaved 
brutally towards them. Count Anatole de Montesquiou 
was coming one day from Vienna to Schonbrunn when 
he was detained at the Mariahilf barrier by an agent 
who informed him that he was not allow r ed to cross 
the lines, i M. de Montesquiou went to the police- 
office and not finding any explanation of this order 
went horn 6 to his mother to wait for it there. A 
quarter of an hour later a messenger came from M. 
de Hager, director of police, with apologies for the 
misunderstanding which had interrupted his excursion 
and the assurance that such a thing would never occur 
again. In spite of this assurance we were frequently 
exposed to similar unpleasantness. 

Since Q eneral Ncipperg's departure for Italy, Baron 
de Wess0mberg, the Austrian Minister, one of the 
negotiators at the Congress, acted as intermediary 
between Tche Empress and Prince Mettcrnich whom she 
used to wee at her son's apartment every time that she 
went to, Vienna, lie was often charged with letters 


from General Neipperg. Archduke Charles appeared 
also to enjoy the Empress's confidence. 1 

On April 13th, a religious service was celebrated 
in Vienna in commemoration of the anniversary of the 
death of Maria Theresa, Marie Louise's mother, and 
she was present with her family. On hur return to 
Schonbrunn she did me the honour of tell ng me that 
a letter which had been brought by M. de Flahaut 
had arrived in Vienna, and that she had been told its 
contents verbally. They persisted in not handing her 
the Emperor's letters, so as to cut short all commu- 
nications between her and her husband. M. de Flahaut 
had been arrested at Stuttgart just as M. de Stassart 
had been arrested at Lintz, and had been forced to 
turn back after having handed over to the Austrian 
authorities the despatches with which he had been 

On the same day the Vienna Gazette published the 
Emperor of Austria's edict, relating to the institution 
of the " Lombard o- Venetian kingdom", under date of 
April 7th. Ambitious motives prompted the sovereigns 
of the great powers to erect into monarchies the spoils 
of the colossal power from which they were inheriting. 
Thus the Emperor of Russia took the title of King 
of Poland, the King of England that of King of 
Hanover; Holland, with Belgium added, also definitely 
became a kingdom. 

The Empress returned one day to Schonbrunn, much 
upset by a remark which had reached her ears as she 
was coming out of the imperial palace in Vienna. 
Two men, who spoke in French, had said loud enough 
for her to hear: " This lady does very wrongly to act 
as a spy here on her father ; she would do very much 


better to return to France and to live with her husband 
there." lhi s reproach wounded her deeply, but as 
moderation 'was the basis of her character she refused 
to have the t - people who had made this remark looked 
for, contrary to what she had been advised to do. 
Count Alditii had just brought a letter from the Prin- 
cess Elisa, -Napoleon's sister, to Schonbrunn, in which 
she beggeq Marie Louise to use her influence with 
the Emperor of Austria to enable her to return to 
France. Ir a spite of the good-will of the Empress 
who went especially to Vienna to ask for this permis- 
sion for r\er sister-in-law her application remained 
without anty result and no answer was vouchsafed by 
the Austrian Cabinet. 

On April • t 6th there began in the Austrian capital a series 
of prayers J and processions for the success of the war 
against Ft-ance and against Napoleon. These proces- 
sions com- posed of schools of young girls and boys, 
together \ v ith people of the wo A king-classes, lasted a 
fortnight. • Preceded by banners and flags of every 
colour the>y marched through the streets and suburbs 
of Vienna, and went to pray in the cathedral of Saint 
Stephen I'md the principal churches. The court did 
not fail tfo be present at these prayers. The Empress 
of Austria formally asked her stepdaughter to be 
present \vith the rest of her family, but was unable 
to induce.-) her to do so. So pressing were her requests 
that the 'case was submitted to the Emperor of Austria 
and to twv Q of his brothers, and their opinion was opposed 
to such jan action. The sentiments manifested by the 
Empress!, were in harmony with her position; but I 
.mi sorrty to say that she appeared only to make this 
concession so as to be able to persist in her determi- 


nation not to return to France. I had ;|ust received 
a letter from the Emperor, another from JCing Joseph, 
and another from the Queen, his wife, jaddressed to 
the Empress, by special messenger, an^d I handed 
them to her telling her that I was discharging a duty 
which had been laid upon me. She reminded me that 
she could only take them to hand them! over to her 
father, and that if I thought right to kejep them she 
would act as if she had heard nothing tabout them. 
As these letters were intended for 'her and it 
was better that they should be read, I i begged her 
to take them and to do what she thougbt right with 
them. Some words were afterwards exchanjged between 
us on the very painful subject of her refusal to join 
the Emperor. She answered with some vivacity, but, 
however, with her usual gentleness, that htj3r resolution 
on this head was irrevocable. When I ojbjected that 
there was no such thing as an irrevocable engage- 
ment, and that circumstances might arise wmich would 
render her return to France obligatory, she made haste 
to answer that even her father's rights did not extend 
as far as that. I could not help remarking, in my 
turn, that the sentiments which she was manifesting 
were unjust and quite out of harmony with her char- 
acter; that if the French nation were to hear of her 
repugnance, it would be much hurt, for nothing could 
be more painful to the French than to see their 
affection despised ; and that then they wpuld reject 
her, after having ardently desired her as a pledge 
of peace. This conversation was the last I ever 
had with her on the subject. She seemed to have 
made up her mind with so much obstinacy that it 
appeared to me quite useless to refer to the subject again. 

43 o men'Eval's memoirs of napoleon i. 

Time and Events, moreover, were our only masters. 
Prince Anthony of Saxony, the King's brother, 
was living in retirement and in bad health at Schon- 
brunn. The; Empress Marie Louise frequently went to 
see him. This family was under a ban, on account of the 
affection wLHch its head had shown for Napoleon. 
Poor Prince; Anthony, although he was the Emperor 
of Austria's 'brother-in-law — had an army of bailiffs in 
his palace La Dresden, and was forced to pay for their 
keep. The r King, who was even worse treated, was 
entirely without resources and lived on the proceeds 
of the sale 1 of some diamonds which did not always 
suffice for '.paying all his household expenses, limited 
as his household was to a very small number of faith- 
ful servants , whose keep cost him about sixteen thou- 
sand francs a month. The Prussians seemed to have 
formed the ; plan of reducing this Prince by means of 
starvation, land they were pitilessly pursuing the inva- 
sion of ofie half of his States. The King had for a 
long time refused to agree to this dismemberment of 
his territory, but he was at last obliged to resign 
himself to ; the painful sacrifices which were imposed 
upon him by brutal force. This expression will not 
appear too strong when it is compared with the odious 
principles enunciated in a letter from Lord Castle- 
reagh to ' Prince Llardenberg, which was produced 
at the debates in the English Parliament. This letter 
strikes th e keynote of the abuse of prepotency which 
marked the majority of the acts of the Congress.* 
The Kin^- of Saxony was not only despoiled of the 

• This ]<Mcr, dated October nth, 1814, written by Lord Castlereagh 
to Prince 'jrtardenberg with reference to Saxony, was published, and is 
to I)'- foufod in tin- newspapers of the time, 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 431 

Duchy of Warsaw, but of one half of his heredi- 
tary States, with which Prussia, in her- moderation, 
was good enough to content herself. )He had left 
Presburg to come and reside in the chateau of Laxem- 
burg, where he was near the tribunal v»/hich was to 
pronounce without appeal on the fate of Saxony. He 
wanted to return to Dresden. In spite of Ms resignation 
permission to live in his capital during the war was 
for a long time refused him, nor was it hidden from 
him that there were good reasons why he should be 
treated with distrust. He was forced to send two of 
his nephews, sons of Prince Maximilian, to serve in 
the Austrian army, as hostages who Would be a 
guarantee of his fidelity. He came incognito to see 
his brother at Schonbrunn, and these two Pariahs of royal 
blood wept in unison over the disasters of their house. 
The cessation of festivities and the absence of Prince 
Eugene appeared to have disturbed the Emperor Alexan- 
der's habits. He used to go and kill some of his time 
every day at the house of Prince Schwarzenberg. I 
was constantly hearing of the complaints made by the 
Fieldmarshal at the way in which he was bothered. 
When he had arranged to spend a day with his family 
and had selected one of his chateaux, so as to be 
more at his ease, he would see Alexander come and 
insist on forming one of the party. Prince Schwar- 
zenberg, who was a man of independent character, 
did not always dissemble his irritation at these constant 
assiduities on the part of the Czar. His departure for 
the army at last delivered him from them. He had 
announced that he would come and take leave of the 
Empress, but no doubt a feeling of decency prevented 
him from keeping this promise. 

432 MENLEVAL'S memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

A piece oof news which at that time passed un- 
noticed, exc ept at Schonbrunn where it created great 
excitement, was the death of Countess Neipperg. This 
lady who h<\ad remained in Wurtemberg, which was 
General Neij fperg's birthplace — whilst he came to employ 
his talents 'in Vienna — died in the month of April, 
after an illness of two days, leaving four boys behind 
her. She wias said to have been very pretty but only 
moderately tintelligent. Count Neipperg had run away 
with her frcom her first husband, who was still living 
a few months before his wife's death. The way in 
which Marie. Louise announced this death, one day at 
table, showed that she did not regret it very much. 

The Empress of Austria had taken care to keep 
her stepdaughter informed of what was going on in 
Italy. The last news which she sent her was altoge- 
ther unfavourable to the Neapolitans, and this was con- 
firmed by letters from General Neipperg. This general 
informed t^ie Duchess of Parma that the regiment of 
her bodyguards, having refused to march against the 
Neapolitans and having shouted " Long Live the Em- 
peror", held been disbanded. The Empress Marie 
Louise blazed up on reading this. She did not speak 
of punishing the authors of what she at least had no 
right to consider a rebellion, because by her character 
she had a dislike for severity, but she reserved to 
herself to reward those who had remained faithful. 
The Emperor of Austria anticipated her, informing 
her that he was going to reorganize her regiment and 
reduce it to three thousand men instead of the five 
or six thousand who had formerly composed it. This 
was a favour which looked very much like an increase 
of charges. 


It was to be noticed that since the iaews of the 
military events which forejudged the isssue of the 
Neapolitan question and ensured the pacification of 
Italy, the animosity of the high personages at the 
Congress had increased in intensity, arid that the 
violence of the German newspapers had increased. 
The Congress busied itself with nothing but delibera- 
tions against the common enemy. The offensive 
treaties were renewed, and the sovereigns w|ere pledged 
by transactions about which no time was gi yen them 
to reflect. Austria, Russia, and Prussia signed new 
conventions for subsidies with England. The whole 
of Europe was set on foot as one man. Three great 
Russian armies were set to march through Hungary 
and Silesia. 

Austria was assembling an army in Piedmont, and 
another on the Rhine. Prussia was making extraordinary 
efforts. She was organizing two armies in the Netherlands 
and on the Rhine. All the princes of Germany were 
sending their contingents in soldiers of the line and 
landwehr ; England was landing troops in Holland; 
Spain was assembling troops; more than a million 
soldiers were marching against Napoleon. At last, 
on May 12th, all the powers confirmed their declaration 
of March 13th, and declared war upon France if she 
recognized Napoleon as her sovereign. The Emperor 
Alexander had been the most animated. This prince 
who had been Napoleon's guest, whom he had loaded 
with apparent expressions of friendship, declared with 
the greatest vehemence and under an oath, that he 
would let his last soldier be killed and would spend 
his last rouble, to prevent Napoleon from ascending the 
throne of France once more and remaining there. 

434 MKX'EVAL'S memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

The decisive successes of the Austrians in Italy 
against King Joachim had dissipated the doubts which 
the Empress had had till then as to the fate of her States 
of Parma. No obstacle seemed, in her eyes, to stand 
in the way'' of her taking speedy possession of these 
territories. From that time on, all thought of returning to 
France was effaced from her mind and all her thoughts 
turned towards Parma. She occupied herself with 
unusual attention, in studying the principal branches 
of the administration of the country, but above all the 
resources which it offered for private life. 

She informed herself with all details on the most 
comfortable way of establishing herself there, of the 
internal arrangements of the Palace of Parma, of the 
new disposal of rooms which would have to be carried 
out, of the summer country-houses, and finally of the 
various improvements which could be carried out in 
the various residences. She gave orders for the 
organization of the ducal household, and for the 
nominations to all the functions at court. These 
occupations, which I am far from speaking of in a 
spirit of blame, took up all her time during several 
days. She attached to her establishment in Parma, the 
interest which is felt by a new landowner, who never 
having had the free disposal of the estates which he 
has inhabited, finds himself at last master of a domain 
where he is able to exercise an undivided authority. 
She planned out excursions to Florence, Genoa, Rome, 
Naples, where King Joachim would no longer be 
reigning; to England, etc., and annual visits to Vienna 
to see her son. This was the unvarying subject of 
her conversations. 

The Official Journal had published an edict on April 



meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 435 

14th, ignored till then, by which the Duchess of Parma, 
begged her father to administer the duchies ; provisionally 
in her name, until circumstances would allow her to 
proceed there in person. This edict, dated March 3rd, 
bore the Emperor of Austria's acceptance.-. 

Before leaving for the army, theArchduke John, Vice- 
roy of Italy, came to take leave of Marie Louise. 
This visit having given her the opportunit}' of speaking 
of a remark which had been made by this prince on 
hearing the first news of the Emperor's departure from 
the island of Elba : " My poor Louise, I am sorry for 
you; what I hope for you and for us all is that he 
may break his neck. " I could not help remarking to 
the Empress, that without any doubt she disapproved 
of such words. She admitted that these words were 
to be blamed, but she found that the feeling which 
had dictated them was excusable on the part of princes 
for whom the ' Emperor's return to France was a great 
calamity. On the same day she was called on by the 
Grand-duke of Baden who was to leave on the morrow ; 
but who, according to his statement, was detained in 
Vienna to give certain explanations on a note which 
he had addressed to the Congress — a note the object 
of which was certain claims relating to the supremacy 
of the Federative Diet established by the same Congress, 
according to which all German affairs were to be 
decided by Austria's influence, and under the presidence 
of an Austrian Minister. 

It seems to me that it will not be entirely without 
interest to relate here the last act of the Empress Marie 
Louise, which I witnessed before my departure from 
Vienna, although it only interested this princess's 
conscience. If I allude to it at all, it is because it is 


an indication of her religious feelings. She discharged 
her devotional duties, in the chapel of Schonbrunn, at 
seven o'clock in the morning in her father's presence. 
On that day Count San Vitale, who had been appointed 
her grand-chamberlain, fulfilled the functions of his 
post for the first time. 

More than three weeks had passed by since I had 
been ordered to await an audience with Prince Metter- 
nich before returning to France. Counting no longer 
on this audience with the Prime Minister, I regretted 
to see my departure delayed in pure waste of time. 
If it entered into the secret views of the Austrian Cabi- 
net to resign itself to a reconciliation with the Emperor 
Napoleon, it seemed evident to me that events still 
uncertain, and perhaps remote, would alone be able 
to force it to such a step. There was accordingly no 
further reason for my presence in Vienna, nor were 
there any motives for prolonging it. I renewed my 
request for a passport, but the Emperor Francis was at 
that time suffering from an indisposition which prevented 
him from attending to business of any sort. Later on 
another objection was made against the realization of 
my plan, connected with the visa, which was described 
as indispensable. This visa had to be given to my 
passport by Prince Schwarzenberg. An order having 
forbidden all communication with the left bank of the 
Rhine, the signature of the commander-in-chief of the 
Austrian army had become necessary for crossing the 
river. Now M. de Schwarzenberg had already left 
for his general head-quarters, and this absence compli- 
cated the difficulties. After much opposition I was 
given to hope that I should be able to leave if I took a 
place in the carriage of an Austrian officer, a proposal 


to which I eagerly agreed. At last I received a pass- 
port from the State chancery, but another week was 
lost in the formalities of the visa ana complications of 
every kind. It was only after a quantity of applica- 
tions and negotiations with Generals iStipsicz and 
Langenau that I definitely obtained permission to start, 
on accepting the escort of an Austrian officer. I could 
have no politer nor more attentive travelling companion 
than Captain Karacza'i, a young Hungarian officer who 
had already accompanied the Empress Marie Louise, 
when she was leaving France after the events of 1 8 1 4, 
and later on also during this princess's journey to Aix 
in Savoy. 

Before leaving, I went to take leave of the young 
prince at the imperial palace of Vienna. It grieved 
me to notice his serious and even melancholy air. He 
had lost that childish cheerfulness and loquacity which 
had so much- charm in him. He did not come to meet 
me as he was accustomed to do,, and saw me enter 
without giving any sign that he knew me. One might 
have said that misfortune was already beginning its 
work on this young head, which a great lesson of 
Providence seemed to have adorned with a crown on 
his entrance into life, so as to give a fresh example 
of the vanity of human greatness. He was like one 
of those victims destined for sacrifice who are adorned 
with flowers. Although he had already spent six weeks 
with the persons to whom he had been confided, with 
whom I found him, he had not yet got accustomed 
to them and seemed to look upon their faces, still 
strange to him, with distrust. I asked him in their 
presence if he had a message which I could take for 
him to his father. He looked at me in a sad and 


significant way, then gently freeing his hand from my 
grasp he withdrew silently into the embrasure of a 
window some distance off. After having exchanged 
some words with the persons who were in the drawing- 
room, I approached the spot to which he had withdrawn 
and where he was standing looking on with an attentive 
air. As I bent down to him to say farewell, struck 
with my emotion, he drew me towards the window 
and looking at me with a touching expression he 
whispered to me: "M. Meva, you will tell him that 
I am still very fond of him ! " The poor orphan already 
felt that he was no longer free and that he was no 
longer with his father's friends. He had had great 
difficulty in forgetting his " Mamma Quiou, " as he used 
to call her. He kept asking for her of Madame 
Marchand who had been left with him and who was 
very fond of him. This excellent woman, who had 
received him in her arms at his birth and who had 
identified herself with him, returned to France a year 
later. Her departure was a fresh source of sorrow for 
the young prince. When they ceased calling him by 
the name of Napoleon, he was greatly displeased, for 
he found the name of Francis, which had been forced 
on him, both trivial and ugly. I admit that such 
impressions are the impressions of children of his age 
whose habits have been brusquely broken in upon, that 
they are only temporary and soon give way before 
the happy mobility of their character. One might, 
have said that the gravity of the circumstances in 
which the young prince found himself placed had been 
revealed to his intelligence and had hastened on his 

I left him in a state of flourishing good health. His 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 439 

constitution was robust and promised a long life, free 
from infirmities. He was handsome, gpod, and full of 
amiable qualities which later on won ,for him his 
grandfather's affection. 

When he was deprived of the succession to the 
States of Parma and his name had been taken away 
from him, it became necessary to provide for his 
present and future position. By an edict issued in 
July 1818, he received the title of Duke of Reichstadt, 
which was the name of one of the estates in Bohemia 
which were to form his appanage. The same edict 
settled his armorial bearings and gave him precedence 
immediately after the princes of the Austrian imperial 
family: another deed had six months previously con- 
ferred upon him the property of the Bavaro-Palatinate 
fiefs in Bohemia with reversion to the crown of Austria 
in default of male issue. He was only to enjoy the 
revenues of these estates on reaching his majority or 
on his mother's death; this princess being obliged to 
provide for her son's maintenance as long as the 
duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla remained in 
her possession. The poor child never came to the 
enjoyment of his estate, for death awaited him at his 
majority. Thus the Emperor of Austria, although he 
was very fond of his grandson, gave him nothing. 
Marie Louise provided largely for her son's expenses 
and the cost of his education. Count Dietrichstein 
was with the Emperor Francis's consent appointed his 
tutor. His masters were learned and distinguished 
men who gave to his precocious intelligence the develop- 
ment to which it was prone. Count Dietrichstein, who 
came to Nice for the sake of his health, during the 
winter of the years 1831 — 1832, frequently conversed 


with General Bertrand's daughter about Napoleon's son. 
The gist of his remarks was that the young prince 
was tall and well-made, that he resembled both his 
father and his mother, that he had not the simplicity 
and the good-nature which are the basis of the character 
of the Austrian Archdukes, but that he had a great 
distinction and dignity in his manners, that a touch of 
melancholy and a habit of meditation had left their 
impress on his features, that he was well-informed and 
had a taste for serious studies and for the military 
state, that he had retained a recollection of France, 
although' he had left it in his early childhood, and 
that he took pleasure in seeing French people, which 
revealed itself by the animated attention with which 
he looked at them and tried to recognize them. "It 
does not befit me," added Count Dietrichstein, " to 
boast of a young man whose education I directed, 
but I may say that my efforts were seconded by the 
very best natural dispositions and that the Duke of 
Reichstadt is a man." Six months later this young 
prince was no more. 

It was on May 6th, at ten o'clock in the evening, 
that I took my last farewell of the Empress. She was 
much touched on this occasion. She was good enough 
to express her regret at my departure and said that 
she felt that in future all relations between her an1 
France would cease, but that she would always remem- 
ber this land of her adoption. She charged me to 
assure the Emperor of all the good she wished him, 
and told me that she hoped he would understand the 
unhappiness of her position. She repeated that she 
would never consent to a divorce, that she flattered 
herself with the belief that he would agree to a friendly 


separation, that this separation had become inevitable, 
and that no change had occurred in tlie feelings of 
esteem and gratitude which she felt for him. She 
presented me with a snuff-box ornamented with her 
cipher in diamonds, as a souvenir, and left me to hide 
the emotion which was mastering her. I myself left 
her with a heavy heart and in a state of veritable 

I left on the morrow at six in the morning, with 
my travelling companion. I met Baron de Vincent at 
Enns, on his way to resume his functions as ambas- 
sador at Ghent, with Louis XVIII. On the way from 
Vienna to Munich, I met with conveyances full of 
recruits, with the cavalry corps on march, together 
with artillery regiments and parks. The head-quarters 
of Prince de -Hohenzollern, commanding the first corps, 
were at Stockach. 

Prince Eugene was at Munich when I passed through. 
He was there in so equivocal a situation that I avoided 
seeing him for fear of exposing him to some unpleas- 
antness. He had, besides, warned me, begging me 
in secret not to visit him on account of the supervision 
to which I was subjected. 

The postmaster at Waldsee told me that Prince de 
Neufchatel had passed the day before, in company of 
his princess and an officer, on his way to Bale, but 
had returned a few hours later, having been forced to 
go back at Stockach and that he had made his way 
to Bamberg, from whence he had come. 

I arrived at Bale on May 1 ith, at six in the morning. 
I separated myself from my travelling companion 
there. I had nothing but praise for the way in which 
he had treated me during the journey. He had exer- 

442 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

cised a mission of protection over me rather than of 
supervision. On the frontiers, at the forts, and in the 
various stations of the allied troops through which we 
had passed h^ had preserved me from the annoyance 
of visits to a n d appearances before the civil and mili- 
tary authorities. I found the people of Bale much 
disturbed by the battery which had been constructed 
at Huningue, which menaced the bridge and town of 
Bale. I saw M. Harel, extraordinary commissioner of 
police, at Boi ir glibre or St. Louis and found him very 
distrustful of their feelings towards us. From that 
city to Paris I me t with an enthusiasm for the Em- 
peror and ari ardour for the war which I cannot de- 
scribe, not Only amongst the soldiers and the fresh 
recruits but also amongst the majority of the people. 
At Belfort I was called upon by the chief of the staff 
of General Lecourbe who had his head-quarters there. 
He came to us in Lecourbe's name, to ask with great anx- 
iety, whether I brought the news of the speedy arrival of 
the Empress and her son and if there was reason to 
hope that th e war would not take place. I met the 
loyal M. de Marmier, the Emperor's aide-de-camp, on 
my way. I^e had raised a free company at his own 
expense, an<d he asked me the same questions with the 
keenest interest. 

I was expected with impatience by the Emperor. 
I went at r^oon to the Elysee where he had established 
himself. I was introduced into his room, immediately 
after my Arrival, and I found Napoleon there seated 
on a settle with his head leaning on his hand, 
wrapped irjt profound meditation. He rose to receive 
me and tc, k my hand, which he grasped with great 
cordiality;, then, opening a glazed door, he pre- 


ceded me into the garden where he kept; me till six in 
the evening, overwhelming me with questions of every 
kind. He told me to return on the morrow at his 
levee. I arrived just as he had finished dressing and 
followed him again into the garden wherei his questions 
recommenced. These conversations lasted several days. 
The levee usually took place at nine o'clock, but it 
was often eleven o'clock before the Emperor thought 
of leaving me to attend it. When I fancied that I 
had exhausted all the subjects which seemed to me likely 
to interest him, or to satisfy his curiosity, he found 
means to extract fresh details from me by searching 
in the innermost recesses of my memory. I will not 
endeavour to transcribe these conversations in the form 
of a dialogue. They were an exchange of questions 
and answers of infinite variety and detail and turned 
on most of the things of which I have spoken higher 
up. Generally speaking the subjects of the Emperor's 
conversation on these occasions were serious, and 
seemed to affect him painfully. He rarely dropped a 
grave way of speaking. One day, however, after 
having listened to certain particulars on the Empress's 
domestic life, he asked me, in a jesting tone, whether 
one of her uncles had not paid her attentions. Napo- 
leon spoke to me of his son with great tenderness and 
listened with marked emotion to the most insignificant 
particulars about this darling child. All that he said 
about the Empress was full of respect and consideration 
for her. He pitied her for the trials to which she had 
been exposed, anticipated whatever I had to say in 
her favour, and expressed no doubt that her feelings 
for France and for himself had been forced. He 
ordered me to write to her, so that the weak thread 

444 mhne >val's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

which still c (i mnec ted Marie Louise with France might 
not be sever< ?c j 

I informed t j ie E m p eror f the order given me by 
the Jimperoi^ f Austria to delay my departure until 
I had been ^ umm0 ned by Prince Metternich. I told 
him of the sti. on g reasons which I had for thinking that 
the object ot ^[s audience, although I had not been 
told so, but w hi c h J could suspect from certain half- 
conndences, was a p ac ifi c G ne, jf subsequent events 
should bring t ^ e Austrian Cabinet to make an overture 
to the rrenc n Government. I told the Emperor that 
having waitei-j for tms au dience for a month, without 
its being bro^g^t about by any occurrence, and seeing 
precious time go by> j had feared lest it might be 

indefinitely PSstponed. The Cabinet of Vienna, if its 
dispositions g rew m0 re favourable, could easily find 
an intermedi ar y anQ i cnar g e y m to carry its offers to 
Pans. 1 na d therefore thought that my place was at 
the Jimperor» s s [^ and that my return to France would 
be more P rc fitable to his interests than a prolongation 
of my stay - in Vienna, were it only to carry the news 
of this mci-i en t to his ears. Napoleon approved of 
my conduct He considered that the delay which had 
occurred in t ^ e delivery of my passport had been 
occasioned ^y t ne confidential negotiations which had 
been estabj sbed aDou t that time in Bale between 
Metternich and Fouche. It was one of Napoleon's 
secretaries wbo rece j vec i these communications from 
Vienna msU^ Q f ^\e emissary of Fouche, who wanted 
in this mat er to ac t without the Emperor's knowledge. 
Speaking Q f tne p r i nce s who had been brought back 
by the ' v( s t< nation, the most remarkable thing that the 
Fmperor ] c j me was « t hat in returning from the 


Island of Elba, it was not Louis XVIII. — for this prince 
could not have kept himself on the throne of France 
for another six months — whom he had dethroned, but 
the Duke of Orleans, that he was sorry for this, 
because this prince was the only Frenchman in his 
family, the most capable, and so on, and so on." 
Napoleon was touched by the patriotic sentiments which 
had been displayed by the Duke of Orleans, two months 
earlier, when he had gone to take command of the 
army in the North, placed under the orders of Marshal 
Mortier, with the letter which he had written to this 
Marshal on returning into retirement, but above all 
with the words which had been reported to him by 
Captain Athalin, one of his aides-de-camp, whom the 
Duke of Orleans had authorized to resume his post as 
orderly officer to the Emperor. This prince had told 
him that a new invasion of France by foreign troops 
must be prevented above all, esteeming him happy to 
find once more the colours which he himself had only 
left with regret. The Emperor judged the policy of 
the sovereigns with a great abnegation of his own 
interest. He considered it violent, but such as he was 
bound to expect; that it might have been more gener- 
ous, for he had given them the example; that the 
princes given over to the inspirations of their ministers 
were naturally led to make a bad use of prosperity. 
He told me that all that was happening could not in 
consequence surprise him ; and that it was in the nature 
of things, that in making his attempt, he had under- 
stood that he could appeal only to the courage and 
patriotism of the nation, and to his sword. " And for 
the rest, " he added with a melancholy smile, " God is 
great and merciful." All his words were stamped with 

446 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 


a calm sadness and a resignation which produced a 
great impression upon me. I no longer found him 
animated with that certainty of success which had 
formerly rendered him confident and invincible. It 
seemed as if his faith in his fortune, which had induced 
him to attempt the very hardy enterprise of his return 
from the island of Elba, and which had supported him 
during his miraculous march through France, had 
abandoned him on his entry into Paris. He felt that 
he was no longer seconded with the ardent and devoted 
zeal to which he was accustomed, and that, hampered 
as he was with the shackles which he had allowed to 
be placed upon him, he was no longer as free as 

The Emperor, after his first curiosity had been 
satisfied, prompted by his natural kindness, could not 
fail to attend to my personal affairs. He was the first 
to speak to me of the kind of occupation which would 
suit me best, and encouraged me to express my wishes 
on this head to him. One of Napoleon's ministers, 
remembering the example of M. Augeard, secretary 
of commands to Marie Antoinette, who had been at 
the same time treasurer of the city of Paris, thought 
that this latter function — the holder of which had 
provoked the animadversion of the government by his 
exaggerated royalist fervour — should become the ap- 
panage of the secretary to the commands of the Empress. 
This lucrative post was occupied at that time by the son- 
in-law of Count de Segur, Grand Master of Ceremonies, 
and as this circumstance prevented me from desiring 
it, I did not entertain the proposal. In the course of 
one of his audiences, the Emperor told me that this 
arrangement had been mentioned to him but that he 


did not think that a financial post would suit me and 
that he intended to entrust me with the Postmaster- 
General's place as soon as he found some other em- 
ployment for M. de Lavalette. He added that the 
general guardianship of the State archives would be 
the post in the administration in which my services 
would be most useful to him, that I could occupy it 
temporarily and that he would add the title of Coun- 
cillor of State to this post. On his departure for the 
army he charged King Joseph to have a report and 
the draft of a decree with this purpose in view prepared. 
The events of the campaign of 181 5 and the catas- 
trophe which terminated them prevented any realiza- 
tion of Napoleon's kindly intentions concerning me. 
I learned in Paris that M. de Talleyrand, on April 
2nd, 1 8 14, in the midst of the cares which were caused 
to him by the enterprise of which he was the pivot 
and which ended in the Emperor's overthrow, and in 
spite of the multifarious obligations imposed upon him 
by the necessity of ensuring the success of all his 
intrigues had thought of removing from the State 
archives all papers which were of a nature to compro- 
mise him. On the day after the Emperor Alexander's 
arrival at the mansion in the rue Saint Florentin, M. 
de Talleyrand had charged two persons on whom he 
relied to go and explore the archives at the Louvre, 
and on some pretext or other to examine the cases or 
boxes containing letters, notes, or reports emanating 
from himself or addressed to him, concerning the trial 
of the Due d'Enghien and affairs in Spain, as well as 
documents which might cast a light on the abuses of 
confidence, or money questions in which he might find 
himself implicated. As soon as the report concerning 

448 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

these investigations had been handed to him, M. de 
Talleyrand, who had become head of the provisional 
government, made use of his power to appoint a M. 
Devillers as L chief to the imperial archivist. This 
temporary conservator naturally withdrew from the 
archives all the papers which were mentioned to him 
by the exalted person whose creature he was. When 
the former Minister of Exterior Relations under the 
Empire saw himself in possession of these documents 
he burned them so as to destroy the proofs which 
sooner or later might have been used against him. 
As soon as M. Devillers had accomplished his mission 
his provisional functions ceased. 

The desire to know wiiether the return of the Empress 
and her son could be hoped for was general. So 
great was the anxiety on this point that all the persons 
with whom I came into contact overwhelmed me with 
questions. Fouche in his capacity as a policeman was 
the most inquisitorial. He wanted to know what had 
happened in Vienna during the last year. He urg-ed 
me to come and see him. I had no inclination to do 
so, because this minister had always inspired me with 
an invincible dislike. I told the Emperor of the way 
in which he had pressed me to come and he advised 
me to see him, but to listen to him rather than to tell 
him anything. I went to his house and, after his first 
questions, he said of the Emperor — speaking with his 
usual assurance: " Well, there he is. It was not he 
who Was wanted, but he can't be removed as you 
remove a pawn from the chessboard. We will see 
what we can do to keep him." These are the exact 
words which he used. I reported them to the Emperor 
who knew no doubt what to expect from him, for he 


contented himself with shrugging his shoulders in sign 
of his contempt. Fouche's hardy words 1 agreed with 
what had been told me on my return to Paris of his 
mysterious understanding with Prince Metternich since 
the Emperor's return from the island of; Elba. Com- 
munications had been exchanged through a secret 
agent with a view to concerting the Emperor's 
dethronement in favour of his son. I was surprised 
that Napoleon, after the discovery of treachery so 
flagrant, should have kept Fouche at the Ministry of 
Police. I learned in my conversations with the Emperor 
that he had been informed by the Duke de Vicence of 
this new intrigue on Fouche's part, and that he was 
acquainted with his previous intrigues as well as with 
the mission which he had given to M. de Montrond, 
behind his back, at the time when the latter was sent 
to Vienna with despatches from the Duke de Vicence. 
It was only later that I learned, and M. de Stassart 
himself confirmed this, that a communication of the 
same nature had been addressed to the Emperor by 
his intermediary, simultaneously with the despatch of 
M. Werner to Bale. 

A fortnight after my return to Paris I was present 
as a simple spectator at the ceremony of the Champ 
de Mai, during which the acceptance of the Additional 
Act to the Constitution of the Empire was proclaimed. 
On this occasion Napoleon presented the Paris national 
guard and the imperial guard with eagles. The depu- 
tations of the army received their eagles three days 
later, in the great gallery of the Louvre. The Addi- 
tional Act was greatly criticized, and yet this act 
contained more liberal dispositions than the Charter 

which was granted by Louis XVIII. I for my part 


regretted this isolated act which opened the door to 
all kinds of\ polemics and passionate discussions, at 
a time when it was the first need of France and of the 
Emperor to face the enemy. It would have been, we 
consider, better to have postponed to quieter times 
the elaboration of a new constitution, for the situation 
in which the French nation found itself in the spring 
of 1815 lent itself more than ever to a continuation 
of the dictatorship, and the danger which was menacing 
the country at this time made everybody feel its 
necessity. These reflections concerning the Additional 
Act give me the opportunity of mentioning in what 
terms Madame de Stael expressed her approval of it. 
These are the very words which Napoleon's persever- 
ing enemy wrote to King Joseph from Coppet: "The 
additional clauses are all that France needs, nothing 
but what she needs, and not more than she needs. 
Your brother's return is prodigious and surpasses any- 
thing that one could have imagined. I commend my 
son to you." 

The Emperor on his return to France had found the 
army reduced to less than one hundred thousand 
men; in two months he had increased its force five 
times. A zealous and active administration had se- 
conded Napoleon's efforts, and the nation by its sympathy 
and by means of spontaneous gifts, by levies of free 
troops had proved its ardour for the defence of the 
soil of the fatherland. The Emperor hesitated some 
time before deciding whether to remain on the defensive 
and to draw the enemy on either to Lyons or Paris, 
or whether on the contrary to take the offensive. He 
ended by deciding on the latter. After having armed 
and provisioned all the fortresses on our frontiers, 

meneval's MEMOIRS OF NAPOLEON I. 451 

having settled on a system of fortifications for the 
defence of Paris and Lyons, and having established 
supplementary gun-factories and collected considerable 
quantities of ammunition of every kind, Napoleon left 
Paris on June 12th. At Avesnes he decided the first 
operations of the army by an order of the day which 
he wished to keep secret. On the 14th General 
Bourmont, commanding a division of the 4th corps, 
Clouet, colonel of engineers, and Major Villoutreys, 
staff-officer, and formerly equerry to the Emperor, 
followed by some officers, to the disgrace of French 
honour passed over to the enemy and betrayed the order 
of the day of June 1 3th to them. 

In spite of this unqualifiable treachery, the campaign 
had opened under the happiest auspices for French 
arms. Napoleon had been able to hide his first move- 
ments from the eyes of the enemy and had succeeded 
in taking the Prussian and English armies by surprise. 
His skilful manoeuvres which had separated these two 
armies and brought about the victory of Ligny gave 
one reason to hope that these successes would be 
followed by decisive victories. There was no doubt 
of this in Paris, and news from the army was being 
awaited with confident security, when the report of a 
great disaster came to trouble every mind. Soon the 
defeat of Waterloo was a mystery to nobody. This 
fatal news spread consternation in our capital, and this 
consternation was raised to its highest pitch by the 
desolating reports which kept coming in. In spite of 
the faults committed during this short campaign, and 
notably on this fatal day ; in spite of the slowness and 
want of decision with which orders, for the execution 
of which the greatest speed was necessary, had been 


carried out; in spite of the fact that Marshal Mortier's 
retreat had left the command-in-chief of the imperial 
guard vacant ; the battle of Waterloo, which was won 
in the middle of the day, would have been a complete 
and decisive victory but for the arrival on the field of 
battle of Bulow's Prussian corps and Blucher's army, 
in turn, and finally without the absence of Marshal 
Grouchy's corps. A caprice of fortune upset the best- 
laid plans, and snatched from Napoleon's hands the 
triumph which was within his grasp. Wellington had 
even said to General Hill, who came to take his 
orders, at the most critical moment of the battle: 
" I have no orders to give you. There is nothing left 
for us but to die here. Our retreat is even cut off 
behind us." Chance came to transform the vanquished 
into victors and success into defeat. 

It can be said that Napoleon and his soldiers fell 
gloriously. On no encounter of such importance did 
the French army display more heroism and more resolu- 
tion than at the battle of Waterloo. The young generals, 
the young colonels, the officers of the various corps 
were animated with the same ardour and the same 
enthusiasm. On the other hand certain of the principal 
leaders of the army, demoralized by the recollection of 
the events of 1814, had lost that energy and confidence 
which often forces the hand of success. Treachery and 
desertion helped to transform our defeat finally into a 
rout. The French army, whose attitude and warlike 
qualities had been worthy of admiration up to the time 
of this catastrophe, retreated in fearful confusion. 

The Emperor arrived at Charleroi and stopped there 
some hours. He sent out orders for rallying the army, 
and made arrangements for checking the enemy's 



march. He then proceeded to Laon wherre he established 
Marshal Soult in general head-quarters, and designed this 
place as the point where the vai' ious corf >s were to meet. 
After having received more satisfactory news from his 
brother Jerome whom he had charged to rally the 
remnants of the army and to reduce this confusion to 
order, Napoleon hesitated some time as to whether he 
should remain in the midst of his troops or return to Paris. 
He decided that his presence would not be necessary 
to the army until his columns had been rallied, and that it 
was more important to return to Paris, from which, besides, 
he was not more than thirty leagues distant. The 
Emperor accordingly returned to his capital, arriving there 
at eight o'clock in the morning of June 21st. As soon 
as I heard of his return I hastened to the Elysee. I 
found Napoleon there, overwhelmed with fatigue and 
care, and yet mastering the grief with which he was 
devoured. He was in a bath into which he had plunged 
himself on his arrival, to promptly restore his exhausted 
strength. He had left the army, in spite of pressing 
entreaties to the contrary, but he was not only a 
general, \e was also Head of the Empire. Napoleon 
had come to ask the Chambers for their help, with which 
he did not want to dispense, to check the onward march 
of the enemy, who were once more advancing upon 
Paris. But mad divisions, the conflict between repub- 
lican and royalist passions, the ambitions of certain 
influential persons, a spirit of vertigo, in one word, were 
troubling every head in Paris ; and there was soon nothing 
left for Napoleon but to abdicate for a second time. 
During the two hours which preceded and followed the 
Emperor's second abdication, I saw him absorbed in 
cruel reflections and hesitations. His foresight of the 


fate which was reserved to France if he* abdicated, or 
if he remained in power, deprived of the assistance of 
the Chambers and reduced to a factious role, inspired 
him with a thousand conflicting resolutions and the most 
painful anxiety. An apparent want of feeling rendered, 
him indifferent to the devotion of his brothers and to 
the remonstrances of certain faithful servants who urged 
him to adopt energetic resolutions. But the trial to which 
he had just submitted had opened Napoleon's eyes. 
He did not wish to add the horrors of a civil war to 
the evils resulting from a foreign invasion, by provoking 
a redoubtable conflict between the Chambers and himself. 
He felt that his mission had come to an end and that 
he could no longer recommence a career of prodigies ; 
the times, the elements, the tendencies of men's minds 
were no longer the same. A close union of the great 
corporations of the State with himself could alone save 
France for a second time. This harmony of tendencies 
and will not existing in the circumstances in which 
the country found itself, Napoleon deemed that success 
was impossible. He might, no doubt, have appealed 
to the nation and to the army whose feelings were 
not to be doubted, but he feared to raise internal 
dissensions amongst the French. 

The Emperor accordingly preferred to resign his 
crown, after having in vain endeavoured to draw the 
Chambers out of their state of blindness; and not with- 
out having pointed out to them in the most vivid 
colours all the misfortunes which his abdication would 
entail. He addressed himself, as the continuation of 
my story will show, to ears that would not hear, for 
rest, at no matter what price, had become the first 
need of one and all. 

meneval's memoirs of napoheon i. 455 

The intentions of a great part of the Chamber of 
Representatives may have been pure anCi patriotic, and 
yet the majority of it?> members only knew how to 
work with passion in breaking the sword and shield 
of France. It is painful to have to say that never was 
the nation represented by a political assembly more 
ignorant of its true interests, more below its mission, 
in presence of circumstances of such ! extraordinary 
gravity. Whilst numerous hostile armies were pressing 
in upon us on every side, this majority gave voice to 
none but vain tirades and untimely discussions on ab- 
stract constitutional theories. It was unable either to 
inspire the hearts of Frenchmen with a hatred for 
foreign domination and to proclaim the danger which 
was menacing the fatherland, or to rally itself to 
Napoleon's dictatorship ; the only means which remained 
to triumph, perhaps, over a formidable league. After 
having provoked and obtained the abdication of the 
Emperor, whom it feared more than the enemy, it at 
last understood the imminence of the danger and felt 
the necessity of seconding the ardour which animated 
the national guard, the federates as well as the army. 
This assembly, invariably inconsistent, not knowing 
what use to make of the power which it had snatched 
from Napoleon's hands with violence and not daring 
to assume the weight of it itself, entrusted it to a 
government commission which was unable or unwilling 
to make use of it. This commission undertook to cool 
the national enthusiasm against our invaders. It decided 
upon the timid resolution to send five plenipotentiaries, 
chosen amongst the members of the two Chambers, 
to demand the fulfilment of illusory promises, which 
had been made by the allies under circumstances 


which imposed a certain amount of prudence upon 
them. Anxious as to the issue of the struggle in which 
they had engaged, the allies, at the commencement of 
the 1 8 1 5 campaign, had declared their intention of respect- 
ing the independence of France and of preserving the 
integrity of her territory. It was easy to foresee what 
would be the value of our demands upon them, the 
day when these demands were no longer backed by 
arms. And so we had the grief of seeing the deputies 
of a great people, which so often had triumphed over 
these same enemies, present themselves as supplicants 
in the cabinets of the ministers and the camps of the 
generals of the coalition, and expose themselves to the 
humiliations and disdain of a victor intoxicated with 
his successes. 

I saw Fouche myself at the time and he charged 
me to tell Napoleon that the plenipotentiaries had been 
instructed to demand that Napoleon II. should be 
recognized and, in one word, to accept anything ex- 
cept a return of the Bourbons. 

Whilst these plenipotentiaries, furnished with illusory 
instructions, were making their way towards the head- 
quarters of the allied sovereigns, Fouche was sending 
confidants to Lord Wellington and to Prince Metter- 
nich to negotiate for the return of the Bourbons. It 
is here that we meet again with Macirone, who was 
one of the secret agents employed by the Due d'Otranto. 
This former aide-de-camp to King Murat has given 
curious particulars about the missions with which 
Fouche charged him to Lord Wellington. Captain 
Macirone, who had witnessed, in 1815, the exaltation 
of the French soldiers, whose ranks he had passed through, 
and who had narrowly escaped being killed because 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon I. 457 

they took him for a spy, was astonished at the facility 
with which Napoleon had abdicated when there remained 
to him, round Paris alone, a re-organized army of more 
than 80,000 men filled with fanatical enthusiasm for 
his person, shaking with indignation at the yoke which 
it was wished to lay upon them, and burning with an 
ardour which was proof against anything; and that at 
the very time when Macirone had just seen that the 
Prussians and the English, on the contrary, were divided 
on the question of the re-establishment of Louis XVIII. 
We ourselves saw the Prussian cannon pointed against 
the Tuileries palace. M. Martial Daru, the military 
intendant, has assured me that overtures had been 
made by General Gneisenau to General Maison, at 
that time governor of Paris, to induce him to join with 
field-marshal Bliicher for the purpose of driving the 
Bourbons out and of proclaiming a Prussian prince 
King of France. General Maison, whilst asking for 
time to consider his answer, had come to the conclusion 
that it was better to keep Louis XVIII. than to accept 
the Prussian yoke. 

The judicious reflections made by Joseph Bonaparte 
on the conduct of the French Chambers during the 
last years of the Empire will not, we think, be read 
without interest. One might say that these reflections 
had been written by Napoleon himself. They are as 
follows : 

" One must not cast on the nation the blame which is 
deserved by the members of the Chamber of Deputies, who, 
in 18 1 3, joined themselves to M. Laine, whose opinions at 
the time may be judged by those which he has since professed 
for the Bourbons; nor by the opinions and conduct of the 
Chamber of 1815, presided over bv Lanjuinais, an honest but 


short-sighted man, a bourgeois Cato and the eternal dupe 
of intriguers of every colour and every party. The French 
nation is no more in a coterie of peers, than the Italian 
spirit is in the sacred college and amongst the Neapolitan 
barons. The French nation is in the day-labourer's work- 
shop, in the middle-class family interior, in the work-room 
of the busy man, in the peasant's field, in the minds of all 
who paipitate at the remembrance of our national glory, in 
these old remains of so many heroes. The French nation 
is the nation which received Napoleon on his return from 
the island of Elba, which is conscious of what is right and what 
is wrong, which does not accuse the man whom she admires 
and whose widow she will long consider herself. This nation 
is not frivolous, capricious, changing, as people would have 
one believe. It feels to-day what it felt on the morrow of 
Austerlitz. But Europe has been pressing her down for the 
last fifteen years; and though it has crushed its will, it has 
not yet killed it. 

" In all nations there are weak individuals who have been 
lifted by chance to eminent places. These individuals, in 
decisive circumstances often decide the fate of nations, by 
little personal passions by which, without suspecting it them- 
selves, they are dominated. Unfortunately there were many 
such individuals in the Chambers of 1813 and 18 15, and 
when they saw the precipice which they had opened beneath 
their feet they could do nothing but groan and lament 

" For France's misfortune it was fated that men like Sieyes, 
Merlin, Carnot, Roederer, Boulay de la Meurthe, etc., etc., 
were not in a majority in the Chamber. The leaders of the 
majority were either men of bad faith or lacking in foresight 
of the future, guided by petty vanity, wishing to play the 
Romans of the time of Brcnnus or the Mirabeaus of the 
Jeu de Paume at a time when they should have rallied them- 
selves to the dictatorship of Camillus to expel the Bourbons, 
that is to say the foreigners. 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOEEON I. 459 

"I remember in this connection to the eternal honour of 
Sieves that when he heard of the loss of the battle of Waterloo 
he came to see me. Finding me in conversation with Lanjuin- 
ais, president of the Chamber of Deputies, he said to me: 
'If you want to persuade them with speeches, your work is 
cut out for you. Allow me to speak. Lanjuinais,' he said, 
'Napoleon has at last lost a battle. He stands in need of 
us. He is coming. Let us go to his assistance, so that he 
may drive the barbarians out. He alone can succeed in 
doing this with our help. After that, if he wants to become 
a despot, once the danger is passed we will unite to hang 
him if that is considered indispensable. But to-day let us 
march with him, that is the only hope we have of safety. 
Let us save him that he may save us. The nation will be 
grateful to us for this, for he is to-day the man of the nation.' 

" France is full of people who think so. It would be unjust 
to judge the nation otherwise than by them or by itself, by 
the force of its resistance and the example it has given in 
so many important circumstances. 

" Napoleon without any doubt desired France and Italy 
to enjoy all the happiness, all the liberty of which they were 
capable. 'Time,' he used to say, 'will do the rest. // tempo 
e un galantuomo. Suffice it for me to pacify them at home 
and to put them on the right road.' 

" The Concordat, the Empire, the imperial nobility, his 
marriage, all these things were manoeuvres to attain an object 
ignored by the incorrigible, with their assistance, by making 
everybody take part in bringing them to a successful issue. 
'Mr. Colonel of the 4th,' he would sometimes say to -me in 
jest, 'wheel to the right to march to the left.' Napoleon 
wished to attain peace with England, the conquest of all 
the rights which the Revolution had proclaimed and which 
the Terror had exaggerated in 1793. To succeed in this it 
was necessary to unite all parties, to make them all work 
towards a common object, which would have been the happiness 
of France, of Italy, of Europe, and at the same time an immense 

460 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

glory for himself. England successfully opposed this object 
and Napoleon perished in the midst of his plan, at a time 
when his real system and his real object were yet neither 
known nor unmasked." 

I will add to these reflections that if the nation was 
passive it has not on that account been forgetful. 
Obstinate fidelity under misfortune is not our ruling- 
virtue. The nation was all the more accessible to the 
influence of reverses that it had been cradled in unpar- 
alleled prosperity. Its sympathy for the Emperor was 
not withdrawn from him, but, after our disasters, its 
ear listened more readily to spiteful or malevolent 
suggestions. From lassitude it let those whom in happy 
days it had blamed, say and do, but without letting 
any dislike for Napoleon have the slightest part in its 
resigned apathy. It allowed itself to be led whither 
they listed without looking at the road w T hich was put 
before its feet to follow. Later on it awoke and 
started from its somnolence with a jerk which has 
replaced it in a state from which it will perhaps 
enfranchize itself by another convulsion.* However this 
may be, the French people still delight in the recol- 
lection of glory which will always be precious in its 
eyes, and its regrets for which will never be effaced. 

Napoleon had signed his abdication in spite of certain 
generous opposition. General Drouot groaned over 
the misfortune of two abdications in the same year ; 
Carnot saw in it France's death-warrant. Whilst this 
illustrious citizen — who had opposed Napoleon's ele- 
vation in 1804 — dominated by the gravity of the 
sit^ition in 18 15 and foreseeing the sad consequences 

* The Revolution of 1830. — R. H. S. 

meneval's memoirs of napol'eon I. 461 

which would be entailed by the loss of ia man whose 
military genius might still save the country, did all in 
his power to prevent his abdication, La Fayette urged 
it on with all his might. j 

A comparison between the conduct of two men, 
known for their patriotic sentiments, who played an 
important part at this time and whose political opinions 
were opposed to the Emperor, may, in our opinion, 
teach a useful lesson. Carnot w^as a sincere, straight- 
forward man eminently patriotic. Easy to deceive as 
are all upright and guileless men he was Fouche's 
dupe. If his politics were not always clear-sighted, 
he understood, in 181 5, all the harm that the politicians 
who dominated in the Chamber were about to bring 
on France. I can still see him taking leave of the 
Emperor w r ho was leaving the Elysee to go to La Mal- 
maison. He halted on the top of the stairs which led 
down into the garden and there this austere citizen, 
yielding to the excess of his emotion, threw himself on 
Napoleon's neck and leant his head on his shoulder to 
hide the tears which were streaming from his eyes. 
La Fayette, a republican of good faith, moved by a 
sincere love for his country, but unenlightened by 
experience, dreamed only of the means of realizing an 
impossible Utopia ; the state of France in 1 8 1 5 seemed 
to him a favourable opportunity to enforce his theories. 
More ardent than ever he raised a voice which was 
all the more powerful because it had not been heard 
for many years and recalled remembrances dear to the 
nation. He made use of a popularity which admired 
without investigating it the strange phenomenon of a man 
who had persevered in the same principles for twenty-five 
years, to break his tutelary sword in Napoleon's hand. 


The same regrets followed the so different conduct 
of these two citizens. Carnot died in exile deploring 
the blindness which had destroyed the only instrument 
of our safety. La Fayette was not long in recognizing 
the effects of the unfortunate influence which he had 
exercised on our destinies. I have in my hands a letter 
which is the proof of this. It was forwarded to me by 
M. de La Fayette himself, together with the following 
note, written in his own handwriting: 

"La Grange, November 5th, 1825. 
"I have the honour of saluting M. le Baron de Meneval 
and I make haste to send him a letter which I ought to 
have received at Washington but which reaches me here 
through American hands. He will greatly oblige me by 
informing me that he has received it. I beg him to accept 
the assurance of the pleasure which I take in discharging 
this commission towards him. 

"(Signed) La Fayette." 

The letter which M. de La Fayette sent me, dated 
September 8th, 1825, from Breezy Point, near New York 
contained these words which allude to the occurrences 
of 1815: 

"My dear Meneval, 

"M. de La Fayette will hand you this letter. He 
came to see me twice and spoke to me at length on the 
source of the mortal error which has been so fatal to us. He 
deplores the situation of France and appears to me to be 
animated with the best intentions .... 

" (Signed) Joseph, Count de Survilliers. " 
(Joseph Bonaparte). 

I have extracted the passage referring to M. de La 
Fayette from King Joseph's letter; the rest only con- 

meneval's memoirs of napo:leon I. 

tains general reflections on the advantages of 
American Government and on the satisfaction whic. 
derived from a straightforward and honourable c 
duct. In the midst of the ovations with which 1 
guest of the Americans, the friend and comrade-in-an 
of Washington was everywhere received, the remei 
brances of 1815 pursued him. M. de La 'Fayette durin 
a journey in America and a short stay in this countr 
may have heard the words addressed by the venerabk 
John Adams, former president of the United States, 
to a French general, and a member of the provisional 
government of 18 15, Baron Quinette, who had both 
taken refuge in America : " Gentlemen, you did not 
understand the Emperor Napoleon." 

The abdication by which the Emperor proclaimed 
his son, unier the title of Napoleon II., could not 
satisfy Fouche who wanted a free field for the Bour- 
bons. The Chambers appointed a provisional govern- 
ment commission and Fouche, although he was distrusted 
by all parties, had a great influence in the selection 
of the five persons who composed it. These five com- 
missioners were, Fouche, Carnot, General Grenier, of 
the Chamber of Deputies ; Quinette, and Caulaincourt, 
members of the Chamber of Peers. Fouche naturally 
was elected president of this commission. He spoke 
to each and all in the language which best suited his 
listeners, but he, above all, endeavoured to impress on 
everybody below his breath that Napoleon was an 
insurmountable obstacle in the way of peace. He found 
people of good faith in both Chambers, who were disposed 
to propagate his opinions openly, to listen to his insidious 
advice and without knowing it to second his secret 
designs. In adopting the order of the day proposed 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

Manuel, based on the fact that by his father's 

ication alone, Napoleon II. was emperor, the Cham- 

s had settled the question of the acknowledgment 

Xapoleon's son. The government commission, domi- 

ted by Fouche, did not think itself bound by this 

uivocal consecration of the usages of the old mon- 

chy. It placed at the head of its acts : ■ In the 

ame of the French people," and Napoleon's name 

vas omitted. Some isolated voices protested in vain 

igainst this omission, they found no echo. 

Amongst the members of the provisional govern- 
ment figured, as has been seen, Caulaincourt, Due de 
Vicence, whose devotion to the Emperor none could 
doubt. This faithful servant of Napoleon was fated 
to be called to play a last part in the denouement of 
the great imperial drama, after having raised himself 
with the Emperor and having served him faithfully in 
good as in evil days. The Emperor always had sym- 
pathy and esteem for Caulaincourt. This officer, the 
son of the Marquis de Caulaincourt and nephew of 
General d'Harville, both old friends of the Empress Jose- 
phine, was colonel of the 2nd regiment of carbineers, 
when the First Consul attached him to his person in 
the capacity of aide-de-camp and afterwards employed 
him in various diplomatic missions. The very secondary 
part which Napoleon's orders and the passive obedience 
to which soldiers were subjected had given to Caulain- 
court in the arrest of the Due d'Enghien, this indirect 
participation, as we have already related, contributed 
to his fortune. Napoleon wished to compensate by 
cill the means in his power, his aide-de-camp Caulain- 
court for the attacks, as unjust as they were passionate, 
of which on this occasion he had been the victim on 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

the part of the royalists. Accordingly, at the 
the formation of the imperial household, he w 
pointed Grand Equerry and afterwards Due de Vic 
As Grand Equerry he established, in the services 
depended from his post, an order and a dis 
which greatly pleased Napoleon. The Emperor al 
his Grand Equerry sometimes to give orders coi 
to his own injunctions, whenever he recognizee 
the reason of these orders was in the inten 
his service. The Emperor liked to travel with ext 
haste and would always have ridden his horses 
gallop. The Grand Equerry on the other hand w 
to spare them, and he was besides frightened o. 
cidents which might occur by riding at too gre. 
speed. Napoleon in his impatience often used to 1 
that the speed of his carriages should be increa 
Then one might see the Grand Equerry, whose c 
riage followed the Sovereign's, leaning out of \ 
window ordering the equerries and postilions at 1 
top of his voice to slacken the speed of their hors 
Napoleon, who heard him countermanding his order, 
did not seem dissatisfied with him and perhaps in his 
heart of hearts thought that he was perfectly in the 

During the negotiations which occupied the last period 
of the Empire the Due de Vicence acquitted himself 
with a zeal which never failed him of the thankless t 
mission with which Napoleon had charged him. Imbued 
with the principles of a purely military education he 
was a strict observer of discipline. Hard upon him- 
self, during the retreat from Moscow, when there were 
twenty-five degrees of cold, he neglected to protect 
himself by wearing either a cape or a mantle. He 

menevAl's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

ore a spencer lined with fur, on which were 

dered the insignia of his rank and which blended 

with his uniform. Vivacious and even rather 

e, with a habitually calm and serious expression, 

mners were polite and often affectionate. His 

ents were chivalrous. He justified the opinion 

Napoleon expressed about him when he said 

ie was an upright man and a man of heart. 

.er the fall of the Empire, the Due de Vicence 

ed Madame de Canisy, who had been married 

ie first time at the age of fifteen to her cousin 

; Canisy. This lady's father, who would not admit 

there was any family superior to the Canisys, 

insisted upon this marriage. Mademoiselle de 

'sy was still of an age when discernment and 

)rience are wanting to make a choice, and her 

.er had not: taken into consideration the harmony 

tastes and tempers, which renders marriages happy. 

is marriage accordingly did not present the conditions 

pessary for happiness. And so the two spouses 

ere not long in separating. The husband was one 

of the Emperor's equerries of the household; the wife 

was one of the Empress Josephine's ladies and afterwards 

lady-in-waiting to the Empress Marie Louise. 

The Due de Vicence, won over by the graces of 
Madame de Canisy, whose wit equalled her beauty 
and who was one of the ornaments of the imperial 
court, had asked the Emperor to consent to Madame 
de Canisy's divorce so that he mig-ht marry her. Napo- 
leon, who had considered divorce necessary to society, 
had an instinctive repugnance to authorize it amongst 
the persons by whom he was surrounded and in whom 
he took a real interest. The quality of a divorced 


woman seemed a blot to him. Madame d e Canisy, 
one of the Empress's ladies-in-waiting, i^njoyed a well- 
deserved respect in his eyes; the Duchi S s de Vicence 
in spite of all his friendship for the Tfuke could not 
have retained her place as lady-in-waiti)ng. Napoleon 
accordingly used his influence over General Caulain- 
court to dissuade him from this marriage. It was only 
after the second Restoration, and before divorce was 
abolished that this marriage could be effected. 

Having accomplished his last painful sacrifice, the 
Emperor, who was as great in his misfortune as at 
the time when he wore or distributed 'crowns, left the 
Elysee for La Malmaison, escaping ttt e acclamations 
of an immense crowd which pressed itself every day 
in the Avenue de Marigny in the hopes. G f seeing him, 
and saluting with his hand the federates who with 
loud shouts offered to follow his fortunes and to 
defend him. 

I continued to see Napoleon at La IN.Ialmaison, on 
that estate where the dawn of his greatness had shone, 
and which reminded him at one and the. same time of 
things so sweet and so bitter. It was t no t without 
emotion that my eyes once more rested o ^ this chateau 
where step by stejv I had been able t«h follow the 
progress of his astoi. ; shing fortune. I had found him 
there invested with a power temporary | a t first, but 
already crowned with the halo of great personal glory, 
spending the summer in this charming retreat with his 
seductive wife, the most amiable, the best of women, 
and the personification of female graces, ia S he himself 
used to say. I had seen him there, surrounded by 
his family and some faithful friends ai^d servants, 

468 mene^l's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

sharing in ther games, seeking some relaxation from 
his labours ir the cool shade of the gardens, sowing 
the treasures f his fruitful imagination in conversations 
now serious n>w humorous but always full of original 
and profound emarks. I myself, at that time, humblest 
of guests, hadsat down at his table. Soon the people's 
gratitude had raised him higher, and the procession 
which follows on greatness had grown larger behind 
him. He had been forced first of all to have a private 
table, next a court, but never had the exigencies of 
etiquette changed the kindness of his nature. When 
the venerable Head of the Catholic Church had come 
to France to crown and consecrate the Emperor, he 
had been revived at La Malmaison with the filial 
deference whitfi was due to him. Kings had come to 
this residence to pay homage to the great man as 
much as to the powerful sovereign. 

The rupture; of a union formed by mutual affection, 
and dissolved by the exigencies of politics, had caused 
Napoleon to t eave this place which became the witness 
and the confidant of the regrets of a forsaken wife, 
as also the s^ene of a little court, the pomp of which 
often veiled 'he bitterest regrets. A premature death 
had snatche? away the princess who adorned this 
abode, as though Josephine, to whom sovereign greatness 
had formerly been predicted, ,had accomplished her 
destiny and had no further part to play on this earth 
after she had lost her crown. Napoleon returned 
hither fallen 1 from his high estate to take a last farewell 
of the tomb ; of his first wife; he was received here in 
his adversity by his adopted daughter, Queen Hortense, 
whose generous care and filial piety comforted him in 
his evil dajys. I saw there the noble courtiers of 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 469 

adversity, ready to run all the risks o^f their illustrious 
chiefs bad fortune; the Due de Rovijgo so energetic 
and so devoted, whose presence at 'Napoleon's side 
would have been so useful to him; General Bertrand 
and his wife, whose persevering loyalH only increased 
under adversity; M. and Madame de Montholon, who 
were to give him, in hard captivity, the care of devoted 
children ; Gourgaud, whose devotion bore the stamp of 
a chivalrous mind and an ardent imagination; the 
virtuous Las Cases and his young son, whose adolescence 
formed in a great school was to bring forth excellent 
fruits ; * Marchand, whose noble master was to reward 
his touching services by calling him his friend. 

Walking one day with the Emperor in the private 
garden which adjoined his cabinet, he tOxd me that he 
counted on me to follow him. I had no other inten- 
tion. As I needed a little time to put my affairs in 
order, I asked him where I was to meet him. He 
told me that his first intention had been to go to 
America, but as there were some obstacles in the way 
of the realization of this plan, he intended to go and 
live in England, and added that he meant to insist on 
the rights which were enjoyed by every English 
citizen. As I expressed some surprise at this resolu- 
tion, he exclaimed : " Without that condition I shall 
put myself at the head of affairs again." My surprise 
increased on hearing this sudden revelation and I could 
not help saying : " But, Sire, if such is your thought, 

* It was this son, Emmanuel Las Cases (1800 — 1854) who acted as 
Napoleon's secretary at St. Helena. After Napoleon's death he chal- 
lenged Sir Hudson Lowe to a duel, which the latter declined. In 1840 
he accompanied Prince de Joinville to St. Helena to bring back the 
Emperor's body, and in 1841 published his "Diary Written On Board 
the Belle Poule." He was elected Senator in 1852. — r. h. S. 

4J0 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

do not wait rmtil the time has past: at some paces 
from here devoted generals and a faithful army call 
for you; you jare not a prisoner here, I suppose." 
"I have here," 4 >he answered, "a battalion of my guard 
who would arrest Becker, if I said one word, and 
would act as my escort. Young man," he added, 
after a moment's silence, and with the gesture of pull- 
ing my ear, " such resolutions are not improvised." 
I then saw tjhut the threat of placing himself at the 
head of affairs had only been torn from him by a 
flash of natural pride, and that it had never really been 
in his thoughts. This scene has remained engraved 
on my memory. At the end of this conversation he 
told me that he; wanted me to remain at La Malmaison, 
and bade me asjk Queen Hortense to give me a room. I 
accordingly stajyed to dinner and I spent the evening 
with the Queeii, preoccupied with the thought that I 
was expected i:-n Paris. 

At nine o'clock I heard that the Emperor had 
retired to his apartment. One of my friends who had 
dined at La M^almaison and who had no carriage told 
me that he counted upon me to take him back to 
Paris. I told him what the Emperor had said to me 
and he replie c d that I had no reason to fear that he 
would send fij-pr me before the morning. This should 
not have been^ a sufficient reason for my going away, 
because I kniew that Napoleon often used to get up 
in the night. ^ I very much wanted to return to Paris 
when I thoiijght how anxious my wife and children 
would be atv not seeing me come back to them. 
Absorbed as kl was by these preoccupations, I did not 
reflect, a very (I - simple reflection, after all, that I could 
lend my cartjjiage and send a letter to my people. I 


compounded with my irresistible desire to go home 
and waited another hour until I heard that the Emperor 
had gone to bed. I then yielded to th«e promise which 
was made to me by my friend that jhe would, come 
and fetch me very early next morning to take me back 
to La Malmaison. On leaving I begg-ed the Due de 
Rovigo, who was remaining, to tell tl;ie Emperor that 
I should be back before the hour df his levee and 
I set out for Paris. On the morrow I waited for my 
companion of the previous night umtil six o'clock. 
Having no news of him, I sent to inquire as to the 
reason of this delay and heard that h(£ had started at 
five in the morning. I immediately} set out for La 
Malmaison, but the barriers of Paris had just been 
closed when I presented myself and I was told that 
nobody was allowed to go out. I returned at full 
speed to get this order countermanded as regarded 
myself. After a great deal of running* about, I was 
just about to start off again for La Malmaison when 
I heard the news that Napolecn had just entered his 
carriage to go to Rochefort. Nothing had occurred 
the night before to make me suppose that his depar- 
ture would be so sudden. I was painfully affected by 
this unexpected news, and my first apprehension was 
lest the Emperor had gone away with the idea that I 
also was abandoning him and that I had repented of having 
promised to follow him wherever he might go. This 
thought tortured me for a long time, until Madame 
de Montholon, on her return to France in 18 19 or 
1820, and later on the Emperor's faithful companions 
in exile, freed me from my apprehension by assuring 
me that Napoleon had never once alludfed to the cir- 
cumstance which I have related, that he had never 


ceased to speakr of me with kindness, and that he had 
praised my fidelity; assurances the confirmation of 
which I found - m the souvenir which the Emperor 
deigned to beq : i ueatn to me m his will* However this 
may be I have I always blamed myself for my want of 
presence of m ,ind in this circumstance, and for my 
unpardonable w'.eakness. I had separated myself from 
Napoleon, nev< ; - r to see him again here below. All 
my attempts t«° obtain an authorization to go and share 
his exile remain ie d of no avail. I took recourse to the 
obliging intervt "mtion ot General Wilson, who was the 
principal author, of Count Lavalette's evasion, to reach 
the English Secretary of State for the Colonial Depart- 
ment. All tha>t could be accorded to me — such was 
the answer vouchsafed — was permission to go to the 
Cape. Once fe ere I should have been forced to write 
to the govern r or °f St. Helena to ask for permission 
to come to thii: s island, Sir Hudson Lowe being entirely 
master to grants ° r refuse this permission. It was impos- 
sible for me obtain any other answer than this 
disguised refusal. 

I heard after; awards that Napoleon during the night 
which precede; d his departure from La Malmaison had 
thought of rendering a final service to the fatherland. 
In the rapidit |iy of their march upon Paris the Prussian 
and English '^armies, intoxicated with their successes 
and full of im' c P ru dcnt confidence, had separated at tre 
gates of the capital. The Prussians had crossed the 
Seine, and it £would have been possible to crush them 
before the El n R*hsh army was in a position to assist 
them. Napole*k° n was of opinion that so unfavourable 
a position gifive France a real chance to fight the 
enemies one {'"by onc > to drive them off, or at least to 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 473 

obtain, by inflicting a defeat upon them, ttnore favourable 
conditions of peace. He had accordingly proposed to 
the provisional government that he should assume the 
temporary command of the army, undertaking to resign 
after the victory. Fouche's perfidy and the mistrust 
of some members of the Commission caused Napoleon's 
offer to be rejected. Not one of then,, dared assume 
this responsibility towards a Chamber; which feared 
Napoleon more than it feared the enemies. This 
proposal especially crossed Fouche's pl^ans, for he had 
come to a secret understanding with ithe allies. He 
was afraid lest Napoleon should win back an authority 
and a prestige which would restore; the nation to 
energy. The understandings which th6 allies had with 
Paris, thanks to Fouche's connivance, gave them a 
feeling of security which might have been fatal to 
them if the offers of the great captain had, been accepted. 
In allowing for the unforeseen chance^ of the events 
of war, it was in any case a remedy in extremis, 
and in this desperate situation nothing stood in the 
way of an attempt in this direction. Whilst brazenly 
betraying the Emperor and the national cause, Fouche 
hurried on Napoleon's departure, under the pretext of 
caring for his personal safety — and really so as to rid 
himself of the vicinity of the great victim whom he 
still feared.* The Emperor in speaking of the Due 
d'Otranto, had said of him the evening before at La 

* This is certainly unjust. Compare Thiers, who cannot be considered 
partial to Fouche. He admits the sincerity of the latter's anxiety for 
Napoleon's personal safety, an anxiety which was fully justified by the 
well-known intentions of Bliicher and the Prussians towards the Emperor, 
intentions which provoked Wellington's manly and ch.valrous declaration 
that if the kings needed an executioner they must look elsewhere and 
that he recommended Bliicher, in the interests of his glory, to imitate 
his example. — R. H. s. 


Malmaison " I r , ugh t t0 have had him hanged. I leave 
that for the B; oll rbons to do." The Bourbons were 
to make a Mini^ ter Q f this regicide. Thanks to Fouche's 
patriotism, the iPrussians certain of not being disturbed 
in their movem (ents had come up to the walls of Paris. 
Aapoleon by prolonging his stay at La Malmaison ran 
the risk of bei. n g captured by them. The Emperor's 
departure, whi ; cn was urged on by the provisional 
government, to, k place on June 29th. On that day 
Napoleon left V his retreat at La Malmaison, never to 
return there <' again, accompanied by some faithful 
servants who fallowed him into exile. 

Such was th<?u end of the most splendid, perhaps the 
most glorious i c :- e ign of all those which history will have 
to register. Itn w jy be meet, we consider, to interrupt 
this narrative '7 f or a moment, to cast a glance at the 
various causes^ which prevented the consolidation of 
the great Emj, D i re an d entailed its fall ; these causes 
are many. A A imon g S t them must be placed in the front 
rank, the hatred f or the French Revolution implanted 
m the heart c^-.f the old European dynasties; and next 
England's su r ccessful resistance of Napoleon's efforts 
to enfranchise c.the sea. Above these two primary causes 
floated the fc y ar inspired in the foreign sovereigns by 
the superiority ^ f the powerful, innovating-, and rege- 
nerating gem, cjqs, devoted to the triumph of principles 
which were i n incompatible with the spirit of the old- 
world monan conies. 

As auxihai ries to these implacable enmities were: 
1. Ihe c'^l on (j cm nation of the Due d'Enghien, a 
painful evenfjf tj a f at al episode in Napoleon's reign, of 
Which the e-' n( , in j rs f our country in their bad fakh 



and their animosity did not fail to talW advantage in 
their campaign against France and hen- chief. 

2. The war in Spain, a disastrous enterprise, which 
divided our forces and perhaps prevented Napoleon's 
definite triumph over the sovereigns 'of the coalition. 

3. The 181 2 expedition against Rijssia which was 
doomed to failure in consequence of 1 ] the severity of 
an exceptional winter, and whose depl Wable issue had 
such fatal results. ,p 

And finally, a fourth factor, a diss '(pi vent to which 
reference must be made and the force \ of which must 
be admitted, was treachery at home, 'treachery, timid 
and underground at first, but hardy in the end, and 
stalking abroad with uplifted head. ! 

Two men, or, rather, two evil genii, \ had attached 
themselves to Napoleon's fortunes; c Everybody will 
know that I am referring to Fouche aWid Talleyrand. 

Talleyrand, the last representative fof the grands 
seigneurs of former times, supple, insinuating, prudent 
to excess, always master of himsellr without any 
conscience, grown grey in political perfidies, and selling 
his influence to the enemy, surrounded his hidden 
intrigues with mystery. 

Fouche, the former fiery demagogue who Jhad exchanged 
the red cap for a ducal coronet, a foolhardy marplot, 
who needed intrigue as he needed a ir to breathe, 
falling into his own pitfalls, was less secret in his 
manoeuvres. Napoleon despised him because of his 
political immorality, but made use of hi m, because he 
was convinced, I do not know for whai reason, that 
he was necessary to him. The Emperorj believed that 
the apostasy of the one and the regicide\ of the other 
guaranteed their fidelity. In dismissing t^he first from 




his councils hej was unable to deprive him of the 
power for evilf which Talleyrand's influence abroad 
conferred upon^ him; in retaining the other he was 
nurturing a serpent in his bosom. These two men 
were equally harmful to Napoleon, one by his retirement, 
the other by hi'is constant presence in the councils of 
the crown. Tmey were not men of transcendant 
intelligence, bii't they had vices and capacities which 
stood them in ^Atead with Napoleon. They might have 
been considered 1 sufficiently guilty to have incurred a 
judicial sentence, but Napoleon, trusting in his force, 
thought the n/oise and scandal of a trial useless and 
even harmful. 

His pride w'Wld, moreover, have suffered by the 
public confessiojn that ministers vested with his confidence 
had been bold : 'f enough to conceive the plan of turning 
against him tlve power which he had delegated to them, 
and besides thrry had risen with him, and he could not 
forget their fir st services. The man who used to say 
that the staterKan's heart should be in his head always 
felt his own lheart in its right place, in spite of what 
he might say. It is especially against these tw T o men 
that Napoleon l 'pronounced an anathema when, on taking 
his last farewc 3II of France, as the shores which he was 
never to see Again faded from his sight, he cried out : 
" Farewell thoui land of heroes .... farewell thou dear 
France ; a fe wf traitors the less and thou wouldst still be 
the great nation, the mistress of the world." 

The Empeiror had left La Malmaison and had gone 
to pass a nigMit at Rambouillet. On July 3rd he was 
at Rochefort; where his brother Joseph followed him. 
During the twelve days which Napoleon spent either 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 477 

in Rochefort or in the Island of Aix, h 7 e was undecided 
what to do. Should he go to Americ a or to England ? 
He received proposals from various Fronch and foreign 
naval officers and from several genera Is who sent him 
messages. The blockade of the English, cruisers and the 
declarations made by the captains in (tommand of the 
vessels of this fleet barred the way to America. Of the 
various measures which were proposed to give the 
English cruisers the slip some were de clared impractic- 
able, others were considered inadmissible. Napoleon 
was loth to be the direct cause of the loss of the 
ships and the crews who should sacrifice themselves 
entirely for him. He preferred to wjait for the safe- 
conducts which were to be sent from Imgland. These 
safe-conducts did not arrive, and on \the other hand 
assurances which he could consider offijcial were given 
him that he would be received in England with the 
respect to which he had a right. As he was assured 
that in any case he would have every! facility in this 
country for proceeding to America ho decided to go 
on board the Bellerophon, the principal vessel of 
the English naval station. He sent ion before him 
an autograph letter addressed to the Prince Regent 
of England and charged General Gou'rgaud to hand 
it to him in person.* After having accomplished this 

* The text of this letter was : " Your Royal Highness, Exposed to 
the factions which divide my country and to the er mity of the greatest 
powers in Europe, I have closed my political career. I come, like 
Themistocles, to seat myself at the hearth of the British people. I 
place myself under the protection of its laws which I ask for from 
Your Royal Highness, as the protection of the most; powerful, the most 
constant and the most generous of my enemies." Thiers remarks on 
this letter that, at any other time, it would certainly have touched English 
honour. "In the state of hatred and terror inspired by Napoleon, it 
was but a useless appeal to a magnanimity, which was quite deaf at 
the time." — R. h. s. 


act the Emperqjr Napoleon surrendered, with all the 
confidence of a mighty foe, to British hospitality. The 
Belle rophon set: sail for England the same day and 
dropped anchor at Plymouth. The moment for landing 
was being awaited on board this boat, when on July 30th 
two English coiinmissioners came to notify the decision 
of the British Ivlinistry to Napoleon, by which he was 
to be transported to the Island of St. Helena. I will 
not relate a matter of common knowledge, how the 
Emperor protested, nor the various incidents which 
marked this m(,?st painful epoch in his life, nor will I 
dwell on the ma nifestations of respect which he received 
from the Englisjh sailors and soldiers, nor on the curio- 
sity which was .excited by his presence near the English 
coast. I will <.content myself w T ith putting on record 
the sentiments pf universal sympathy of which Napoleon 
became the object in the midst of a crowd ever growing 
larger, packed I in innumerable boats, which had come 
to contemplate rhim. 

The Beller op Jwn not being in a state to undertake 
a long voyage the Emperor, and a small number of his 
faithful servants who were allowed to follow him, em- 
barked on board the Northumberland^ which set 
sail without o.elay to the place of exile which has 
been immortalized by the greatness of soul with which 
Napoleon supported his adversity there, and by his 
death. The I^mperor spent two days of his captivity 
in the house ?of an honest Englishman where he was 
compensated for the insufficiency and discomfort of 
this poor abe'de by the cafe and the respect which 
were lavishec,l upon him by this excellent family. 
Two months, later Napoleon went to live in the 
house at LoiUgwood where began for him that long 


agony which was to last six years an- J D en ln 

The Triumvirate of allied sovereigns .» ; left Vienna at 
the end of May; the generals in coT™™ 6 of their 
armies had already preceded them or [ eir roacl to 
France. A fortnight after the departl lre of the two 
Emperors and of the King of Prussia T*J the P leni P°- 
tentiaries who had remained in Vienna, if ie exce P" 

tion of the representatives of Spain, sig J e 

Congress. The refusal of Spain was p 1 P e ^ e 
objections raised by the former Queen of. I Etruna against 
the cession, to the former Empress of [ \° ie 

Duchies of Parma and Piacenza, the p | atemal inherit- 
ance of the Infant, Don Carlos, this Q, aeen ' s son * A 
subsequent convention, which settled trjj ersion ot 

these states in favour of the Infant of the death of 
Marie Louise, ended this dispute. Am/ on ^ st the ille " 
galities and the arbitrary spoliations whit were 
crated by the Acts of the Vienna Congf ess ' fi§Tire the 
arrangements which deprived the son o- . ucnes s 
of Parma of his mother's inheritance. : ThlS famous 
Congress of Vienna which should have \? e ? n an honest 
senate assembled to found a new public? law mtended 
to assure the peace of Europe and to pr 0tect her from 
fresh commotions was in reality nothir/^ but an arena 
opened to spoliations and oppressive /™?itions. Four 
great powers made use of the forces ^ hich the P eo P les 
had placed in the hands of these so^ erei £ ns ' to ^ nore 
the social interests of these people' anc J the P romise 
which they had given to amelior ? e the condltion of 
these masses. Sovereigns and the' mi ™si;ers had been 
interested only in enforcing dyna ac Prerogatives and 


bringing about, 
batterings, trafla 
interest or decv 

in enlarging th^ e j r territories at the expense of their 

hbc t( £ , urs> anc i m trie so j e interest of ambition 

1 } antipathetic fusions, dismemberments, 

pickings, without either consulting public 

(t ency, and with a total indifference to 

ested rights. W^ j ne consequence has been that these 

arbitrary decisifoj , l )ns scattered the seed of discontent, the 

ferments of di,hi SCO rd, and future wars broadcast over 

Europe, rinall^y^ having shown so much indifference for 

the rights of mjr ,t rality and justice, these powers, on the 

instigation of |i, ;tne Emperor Alexander, did their best 

to hide under | ^the mantle of religion their selfish and 

greedy policiesk,> -phe sovereigns signed a mystic treaty 

called the Tr<JL aty f the Holy Alliance, without the 

intermediary cr ; } f their ministers, by which adopting 

Jesus Christ cfe.; iS their model and their master, they 

undertook to It. ta ke as the rule of their conduct the 

principles ot jut, ls tice, charity, and peace which had been 

taught by the \ Saviour, to allow themselves to be guided 

under all circumstances by principles which they had 

most certainly^ repudiated only too often in their acts. 

General -N%ftpperg covered with the laurels which 

he had gath^ f o re d in his last campaign in Italy had 

returned witlj^ fresh claims on the grat itude of the 

Austrian Gov,> ernmen ^ to resume his role as supreme 

director of N^JUrie Louise's sentiments and will. This 

Princess rerm^mpd another year in Austria before she 

went to take 1 pf a S ession of her new states. Although 

she was pre^ br td there by an edict of the Austrian 

Government v de hh imposed a war contribution of 

three millionfjjj upcie benefit of Austria, these peoples, 

happy to be fj later - e d from the scourge of a military 

occupation agwood lc l lasted more than two years, 


received Marie Louise like a second jorovidence. She 

'. * 
seemed to have been sent to put L an end to their 

evils and to bring an era of prosperit v back amongst 

them. The most powerful reason cif the flattering 

reception which was accorded to Mar ,ie Louise by her 

new subjects was, it must be said, tjpe fact that she 

had been Napoleon's wife. In the solemn entry which 

she made into Parma there appeared \py her side, and 

in the front rank Count Neipperg, was then her 

chevalier d'honneur, and the guardian ,j.of her authority, 


The task which I undertook has reached its end. I 
have made it a general rule to spea k in detail only 
of those matters of which I was an 1 eye-witness. I 
will accordingly not add any length/V developments 
to the narration of the last years on the Emperor's 
existence at St. Helena. Whilst Marie,* Louise, hence- 
forth alien to all the bonds which ha^.d united them, 
fallen still lower than Napoleon, w r as enjoying a 
condition which was prosperous in appearance, but 
which must have been troubled by letter memories, 
her illustrious husband, betrayed by fortune and handed 
over to the outrages of his enemies, gave to the world, 
on a rock which has become sadly celebrated, a strik- 
ing spectacle of a great man in the hands of adversity. 
Confined in the most unhealthy part of the Island of 
St. Helena, Napoleon lived there for nearly six years, 
exposed to the odious vexations which were inflicted 
upon him by the arbitrary will of a jailor lacking in 
every delicate feeling and unable to understand the 
respect that was due to such a mighty misfortune. 
Skilled in adding moral tortures to the material and physi- 
cal sufferings of the Emperor, Hudson Lowe appeared to 



have been comm 

time the soul a ssioned to wear out at one and the same 
five years the - d body of his au £ ust prisoner. During 
force of his cha ! < :/i§ " our of Na P ole on's constitution, the 
accumulation of , racter and his intelligence resisted this 
way. From th-"' evils ' but in the end his health g ave 
serious disease, r * ^ ear l82 °' he was attacked h Y a 
checked by a he ' tne P ro §" ress of which might have been 
in slow agony t , althier climate. After having languished 
not without haviv. his £ reat man died on Ma ^ 5th, 182 1, 
of religion > n £ asked and received the assistance 

The mystery ":' 
Cabinet at Lonrib Wlt ^ which the instructions from the 
wood left the / ,on had enveloped the prison of Long- 
the sacrifice whiT orld for a lon 8" time in ignorance of 
in the end it 1 l)Cn was De ing consummated there, but 
doubts about th|.' was no lon ^ er P ossible to have an y 

The news of V e g rievous catastrophe, 
ation in me ai tne Emperor's death caused a constern- 
myself better aij^ ainst which l should have thought 
hallucinations K m ed. I became the victim of veritable 
it seemed to ml In one of m ^ P ainful slee P less ni S hts 
Tuileries hunp-t ! ~ tnat ^ was * n a draw ing-room at the 
semi-obscurity If with dark £ reen velvet hangings. A 
absence of all 0- cw hich reigned in this room and the 
severe aspect w' a PP arent ornaments gave it a sad and 
against the mai^ 1 savv the Em P eror standing here, leaning 
whose feeble ra ! tj< ltel pi ec e, on which a candle was burning, 
room. He waji V onl >' M g" hted a sma11 P art of the d rawing- 
face bore the st£ s a ^ one ' and seemed to expect me. His 
in a white flar r -' arn P ofprofound sorrow. He was dressed 
handkerchief li« Jincl dressing-gown and wore a Madras 
ments the siler notted roun d his head. After some mo- 
' nee was so solemn that I did not dare to 

meneval's memoirs of naiVoleon I. 483 


break it, he said to me these only wjords: "Let us go 
to dinner." At the same time he stepped towards an 
open door opposite the mantelpiece, I followed him. 
We passed through numerous drawi\ng-rooms all the 
doors of which were open, and which were hung with 
sombre coloured stuffs and feebly lighted. Like ghosts 
we glided over carpets whose thick folds deadened 
the sound of our feet. A gloomy silence reigned in 
the apartments. There were neither o fficers, nor pages, 
nor servants there. We at last halted in a room which 
appeared to me to be immense, and in the middle of 
which was a large table covered with a green cloth. 
On this table were two silver trays ana a plate on each, 
opposite each other. A three-branched flambeau, 
with a shade over it, separated the two trays, behind 
each of which was placed an armchair. This room 
was as desolate and as unfurnished; as the others. 
The Emperor motioned with his han^ to the side of 
the table which was nearest the door by which we 
had entered, without saying a word, and went and sat 
down on the other side before his plate. I found my 
plate full of a kind of black broth which I tried to 
taste, but which seemed to me unendurably bitter. 
The light which was placed betweeiii Napoleon and 
myself prevented me from seeing himi but on raising 
my head and casting my glance in ; his direction I 
remained stricken with terror on beholding the Empe- 
ror's head above the light, with his j eyes, full of a 
strange expression, fixed upon me. He was standing 
up and appeared to me of a gigantic size. His face 
was livid and cadaverous. His wraith staggered some 
steps forward and then disappeared in an obscurity 
which my eyes could not penetrate. My hair stood up 



on my head, and 

my feet were fa' t in S P ite of my efFortS to follow him 

out but my tor ,tened to the S round - l tried to cr Y 

had gone out . > ie clove to ^ P alate ' The % ht 

solitude, reigned)' md a fearful silence > the silence of 

the banquet of C in the apartment. It was indeed at 

present The cc 1 deat ^ tnat m a dream I had been 

myself aroused. '/ nvulsive a §" itation in which l found 

perspiration. T\ f 116 from my sleep ' l was bathed in 

remained for a ^ e vision had disa PP ear ed, but 1 

The life of f ' on S t ' me under its painful impression. 

struggle an( j th' :ms £ reat man had been a contulual 

certain pleasurei< e most laborious of apostleships. It 

his severe labo L> brou S ht him some relaxa tion from 

purchased them ? ig urs il is verv certain that he had 

it was, had yfcftr"* a great pnCe - HlS mind ' stron * aS 

ible oain of sel ' ded ^ or a moment under the inexpress- 

before it had bc/ 3in £ his work of renovation destroyed 

magnificent m.' r en finished, his work of renovation-a 

have answered , 3nument whlch would victoriously 

unjust suppositic"' 111 doubts > a11 P assionate criticisms, all 

cruelly misundoi';.;' ns - Na P oleon had seen a11 his purposes 

most odious co? c * stood and hls character painted in the 

this great victy, ours - Hatred and envv had set u P on 

pleased to makf • m like furies - and would have been 

consolation wl r him doubt his ^mortality, that noble 

Posterity, monLi' ich remains to unfortunate genius. 

tribute of regfc 3 ec l uitable ' will > methinks, pay a just 

memory. Postl.'.' cts and admiration to this imposing 

but feared b>- , critv wiU P itv this S reat man sacrificed 

single adversatl a le: « ue of Kings united a S ainst a 

worth many arl , ry ' Wh ° Se Veiy name ' ll 1S true ' WaS 

Victim of t/'„ mies 

1 he confidence which had led him of his 

meneval's memdirs of napoleon i. 485 

own free will under the British flag he was buried 
alive in a tomb, deprived even of news of his w r ife and 
son, far from all his people, and forgrotten of the world, 
which only remembered him from time to time to 
insult his chains. He languished six long years in his 
narrow prison, but he always remained great, and 
always superior to his misfortune. One might have 
said that the consecration of misfortune would have 
been wanting to so much glory. The illustrious man had 
had, as it were, a revelation of his* future destiny when 
he wrote that passage in his speech, which may perhaps 
be remembered, and which we have quoted: " Great 
men are meteors designed to burn so that the earth may 
be lighted." Napoleon loved war too well, it will be 
said. Doubtless; but what lasting peace could he 
have concluded with the irreconcilable enemies ? Lacking 
in generosity, and even in good faith, a hateful rivalry 
has always been the first motive of English policy 
towards France. When the government of the Empire 
whose greatness was created by the machinations 
of this policy, was rendering our nation prosperous 
and powerful, the English Cabinet had but one thought: 
to strike it down, and to interest the continental powers 
in its fall. It was exclusively for the purpose of its 
commercial aggrandizement and its maritime supremacy 
that it stirred up their passions without respite, and 
lavished its gold, to induce them to sacrifice to it the 
real interests of Europe. This is the truth which is 
well known to-day. 

There can be no longer any question of reviving 
the splendour of the heroic days of which we in 
our turn have endeavoured to trace the picture. 
The formidable power which put England on the 



brink of her ruin, 
her government 
abuses of its pre 
by our eternal ri 


which was on the verge of making 
,, expiate its long injustice and its 
: )potence, is no longer to be feared 
:vals; but, sooner or later, combined 
efforts will overthjr row this intolerable domination, and 

Napoleon has pre 
the seas. If the e 
raises up one day 
the manes of the 

It can, moreov* 
not think that \v\ 
so, that, in aven 
and of Napoleon 
will not leave a i 

pared the abasement of the tyrant of 

^xcess of British maritime despotism 

: a man who shall continue his work, 

\ .Emperor will at last be consoled. 

er, be safely predicted, and we do 

'e shall incur a refutation in saying 

' ging the martyrdom of Joan of Arc 

.\ the ruin of the power of England 

jingle regret in Europe. 






After having spoken of the interest which he had 
always taken in Poland, Napoleon adds: 

" I love your nation. For sixteen yearrs I have seen your 
soldiers in the battle-fields of Italy and in the battle-fields of 
Spain. I applaud what you have done; I authorize the 
efforts which you wish to make. I will do all in my power 
to second your resolutions. If your efforts are unanimous, 
you may conceive the hope of reducing your enemies to 
recognize your rights ; but in countries so remote and of such 
extent it is entirely in the unanimity of the efforts of the 
population which inhabits them that you can find hope for 
success. — I spoke to you in the same way at the time of 
my first entry into Poland. I must add to that that I have 
guaranteed the integrity of his domains to the Emperor of 
Austria, and that I can give my sanction to no plan which 
is calculated to disturb his quiet possession of such Polish 
provinces as remain to him. 

"Act so that Lithuania, Samogitia, Vitepsk, Polotz, Mohi- 
lew, Volhynia, the Ukraine, and Podolia be animated with 
the same spirit which I saw in Great Poland, and Providence 
will crown your good cause with successes. I will reward 
this devotion on the part of your districts, which renders you 
so interesting and which gives you so much right to my 
esteem and my protection, by all that depends on me in the 






MARCH 19TH 1682. 

Many persons are seeking to ruin the decrees of 
the Gallican Church and her Liberties, which our 
ancestors defended with so much zeal, and to over- 
throw their foundations, which rest on the Holy Canons 
and on the tradition of the Fathers: others, under the 
pretence of defending them, have the audacity to 
attack the supremacy of St. Peter and the Roman 
Pontiffs, his successors, instituted by Jesus Christ; to 
prevent obedience, which is due to them from every- 
body, being rendered to them ; and to diminish the 
Majesty of the Holy Apostolic See, which is worthy 
of the respect of all nations where the true faith of 
the Church is taught and which preserve its unity. 
The heretics on their side, do all in their power to 
make this power, which maintains the peace of the 
Church, appear insupportable to the Kings and the 
Nations; and they make use of this artifice so as to 
separate the minds of the simple from communion 
with the Church. Wishing to remedy these matters, 
we, archbishops and bishops assembled in Paris by 
order of the King, together with other ecclesiastical 
deputies who represent the Gallican Church, have 
thought it seemly after mature deliberation, to make 
the following regulations and declaration: 

I. That St. Peter and his successors, vicars of Jesus Christ, 
and the whole Church itself only received power from 
God in spiritual matters and matters concerning the salvation 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 489 

of the soul and not concerning temporal an/d civil matters; Jesus 
Christ Himself informing us that His Kingdom is not of this 
world; and again that we must render unto Caesar the things 
that are Caesar's and unto God the things i;hat are God's ; and 
that thus this precept of St. Paul's can in no respect be 
altered or absorbed, namely: Let every soul be subject unto 
the higher powers. For there is no po wer but of God : 
the powers that be are ordained of God. \ Whosoever therefore 
resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. — We 
declare in consequence that the kings #nd sovereigns are 
subject to no ecclesiastical power by the order of God, in 
matters temporal; that they can be deposed neither directly 
nor indirectly by the authority of the Head of the Church; 
that their subjects cannot be dispensed', of the submission 
and obedience which they owe to them, nor absolved of their 
oath of allegiance; and that this doctrine which is necessary 
for public peace and not less advantageous to the Church 
than to the State, must be observed without any violation, 
as being in conformity with the Word of God, the tradition 
of the Holy Fathers, and the example of the Saints. 

II. That the plenitude of power which the Holy Apostolic 
See and the successors of St. Peter, the vicar of Jesus, have 
over spiritual matters is such that in spite of the decrees of 
the holy oecumenical council of Constance, contained in 
sections IV and V, approved by the Holy Apostolic See, 
confirmed by the practice of the whole Church and the Roman 
Pontiff, and religiously observed in all times by the Gallican 
Church, remain in all their force and virtue; and that the 
Church of France does not approve the opinion of those who 
attack these decrees, or who weaken them by saying that their 
authority is not well established, that they have not been 
approved of, and that they only refer to the times of schism. 

III. That thus the use of its apostolic power must be 
regulated in accordance with the canons made by the Spirit 
of God, and consecrated by the respect of the whole world ; 
that the rules, customs, and constitutions accepted in the 

490 meneval/s memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

kingdom and in the Gallican Church, must have their force 
and virtue, and the: usages of our fathers remain unshaken ; 
that it is even so with the greatness of the Holy Apostolic 
See, that the laws and customs, established with the consent 
of this honourable See and of the churches, invariably subsist. 
IV. Although the Pope has the principal voice in ques- 
tions of faith, and although his decrees affect all the churches 
in general and each church in particular, his judgment is 
not any the less irreformable, except where the consent of 
the Church has been given. 

We have decided to send to all the churches in 
France and to the bishops who preside over them by 
the authority of the Holy Ghost, these maxims which 
we have received from our fathers so that we may 
all say the same thing, that we may all be of the 
same opinion, and that we may all follow the same 

A decree of King Louis XIV., issued March 23rd, 
1682, prescribed the registration of this declaration in 
all the courts of Parliament, and ordered that it should be 
taught at all the Universities and schools of theology. 

An imperial decree issued February 25th, 18 10, 
declared this edict to be a general law of the Empire. 

The extraordinary declaration of the Congress of 
Vienna was sent to the French Council of State, which 
reported as follows to the Emperor. This report 
establishes the Emperor's situation in the face of France 
and of Europe with so much clearness and precision 
that in spite of the length of this document, and the 
publicity which has been given to it, we do not 
hesitate to reproduce it here. 

meneval's memoirs OF NAPOLEON I. 491 

This eloquent refutation was drawn up by M. Regnauld 
de Saint Jean-d'Angely, after a quairter of an hour's 
conversation with the Emperor. 





MARCH 13TH 18 I 5. 

In consequence of the reference made to it, the 
commission, composed of the presidents of the sections 
of the Council of State, has examined the declaration 
of March 13th, the report of the Minister of General 
Police, and the pieces thereunto annexed by him. 

The declaration is of so unusual a form, conceived 
in terms so strange, expressed in ideas so anti-social, 
that the commission was disposed to consider it as one 
of those fictitious productions by means of which con- 
temptible men endeavour to lead public opinion astray, 
and dupe the minds of the public. ; 

But the verification of the reports drawn up at Metz 
and the examinations of the couriers left no doubt 
that this declaration had been forwarded by the members 
of the French Legation at Vienna, and It must accord- 
ingly be considered as having been adopted and signed 
by them. 

It is under this first aspect that the commission 
thought fit first to examine this production which 
is without any parallel in the annals of diplomacy, 
and in which Frenchmen, men who enjoyed the most 
respectable public character, begin with a kind of 
excommunication, or to express it clearly with a 
provocation to the murder of the Emperor Napoleon. 

492 meneva;l's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

We say with the Minister of Police that this decla- 
ration is the work of the French plenipotentiaries, 
because the plenipotentiaries of Austria, Prussia, Russia, 
and England cannot have signed a document which the 
sovereigns and nations to which they belong would 
make haste to disavow. 

And in the first place these plenipotentiaries, who 
for the most part co-operated in the treaty of Paris, 
know that Napoleon was recognized in this treaty as 
retaining his title of Emperor and as sovereign of the 
Island of Elba; they would have named him by these 
titles and neither in the form nor in the substance of 
their declaration would the}' have abandoned the re- 
spectful consideration which these titles impose. They 
would have felt that, according to international law, 
the prince least powerful by the extent of the popula- 
tion of his States, enjoys as far as his political and 
civil character is concerned, the rights which belong 
to every sovereign Prince in face of the most powerful 
monarch; and Napoleon, acknowledged under his title 
of Emperor a 4 id in his quality as a sovereign by all 
the powers, was not more than any one of them under 
the jurisdiction of the Congress of Vienna. 

The oblivion of these principles, which it is impos- 
sible to imagine in plenipotentiaries who weigh the 
rights of nations with reflection, maturity, and wisdom, 
is not surprising when it is manifested by French 
ambassadors whose conscience reproaches them with 
more than one act of treachery, in whom fear has 
produced rage and whose remorse leads their reason 

It is these who may have dared to risk the fabrication, 
and the publication of a document such as the alleged 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 493 

declaration of March 13th, in the hbpe of checking 
Napoleons march and of deceiving the French nation 
as to the real sentiments of the foreign powers. 

But it is not theirs to judge, as they have done, the 
merits of a nation which they have \*filfully misunder- 
stood, which they have betrayed and 1 handed over to 
the arms of foreign powers. 

This brave and generous nation revolts against 
everything in the nature of cowardice and of oppres- 
sion. Its affections increase in intensity when their 
object is menaced or is the victim of a great act of 
injustice; and the murder provoked by the declaration 
of March 1 3th will find for its accomplishment no arms 
either amongst the twenty-five millions of Frenchmen, 
the majority of whom have followed, guarded, and 
protected Napoleon on his march from the Mediter- 
ranean to the capital, or amongst the eighteen millions 
of Italians, or the six millions of Belgians and inha- 
bitants of the banks of the Rhine, or the crowded 
population of Germany, who at this Isolemn juncture 
have pronounced his name but with respectful remem- 
brance, or amongst the indignant English nation, whose 
honourable sentiments disavow the language which 
certain people have dared to attribute to the sove- 
reigns. J 

The peoples of Europe are enlightenejd. They judge 
the rights of Napoleon, the rights of trie allied princes, 
and the rights of the Bourbons. 

They know that the treaty of For Jtainebleau is a 
treaty made between sovereigns. It? violation, namely 
the entry of Napoleon on to French territory, like all 
other infractions of diplomatic conventions, like all 
other hostile invasions, could only erijtail an ordinary 

491 M6NEVA1 s memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

war, the result ( ized in France under the eyes of the 
invading belligcrv , lt and indeed by its orders— as will 
be victor or vant,l by the solemn proceedings which 
as far as posse^ taken against M. de Maubreuil— to 
only be that his tr> his brothers, and their wives. This 
preserved or lose t conspiracy having failed, a riot was 
attempt against 1)n> G n the road taken by the Emperor, 
prince is a thing^ cr ifi c i n g his life at the hands of some 
in the history 'was sent to Corsica as governor, one 
violence, in the tffl G f hired murderers, the man Brulart, 
characterize the ; the rank of Marshal, a man known 
nizes the emissai \njou, in Normandy, in the Vendee, 
the same couno ;] the whole of England by the blood 
placed Napoleocp; and this with the object of preparing 
summoned agar ^ success of the projected crime. It 
promised a rewa r hat a number of solitary murderers 

And in spite; n d of Elba to earn the guilty and 
honoured with i which had been promised to them, 
insulted by the «f Napoleon, 
summoned. H< 

and the protectees of Parma and of Piacenza were 
him out for de^ple to Marie Louise for herself, her son, 

When he spc-Jants; and after long refusals to put 
meet the coin . n , this injustice was consummated by 
Xavier ; to Geri^te spoliation, under the vain pretext 
him at Lille; (^ effected without valuation, without 
Bordeaux whereat sovereignty, and without the consent 
to General Grc ^rested. Documents which exist at the 
civil war provi which have been examined by us, 
word, on evay ls at the instance of Prince de Benevent 
the Emperor th ise and her son were thus despoiled, 
be respected a 
danger, and vicble establishment outside French terri- 


tory was to have been granted to Prince Eugene, the 
adopted son of Xapoleon, who honoured the France 
which saw his birth and won the affections of the 
Italy which adopted him. He received nothing. 

V. The Emperor, by Article 9 of the treaty, had 
stipulated in favour of the heroes of his army that their 
endowments on Mont Xapoleon should be preserved ; 
he had reserved out of the extraordinary domain 
and out of the funds which remained over from the 
civil list the means of rewarding his servants and of 
paying the soldiers who attached themselves to his 
destiny, and all was taken away from him and reserved 
by the Ministers of the Bourbons. M. Bresson, an 
agent of the French soldiers, went in vain to Vienna 
on their behalf to claim for them the most sacred of 
possessions — the price of their courage and of their 

VI. « It was stipulated that the personal and real 
property of the Emperor's family should be preserved 
— Article 6 — and the members of the imperial family 
have been despoiled both of their real and personal 
estate, and this with armed force, by commission-holding 
brigands, and in Italy by the violence of the military 
commanders ; in both countries by means of sequestra- 
tions and seizures formally ordained by the authorities. 

VII. The Emperor Xapoleon was to receive two mil- 
lions, and his family two hundred and fifty thousand francs 
per annum, by Article 6 of the treaty, and according 
to the scale established. Xow the French Government 
has persistently refused to carry out this engagement, 


498 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

and Napoleon would soon have seen himself reduced 
to discharge his faithful guard, for want of the means 
of giving them their pay, had he not found in the 
faithful remembrances of the bankers and merchants 
of Genoa and of Italy, the honourable resource of a 
loan of twelve millions of francs which was offered to him. 

VIII. Finally, it was not without a motive that it 
was desired, by every means, to separate from Napo- 
leon these companions of his glory, these models of 
devotion and of constancy, the immovable guarantees 
of his safety and of his life. The island of Elba had 
been assured to him as a possession in fee-simple by 
Article 3 of the treaty, and the Congress had formed 
the resolution, a resolution desired by the Bourbons 
and solicited by their agents, of despoiling him of it. 

And but that Providence in this matter dispensed 
its justice, Europe would have seen Napoleon's person, 
Napoleon's liberty attacked, would have seen him thence- 
forward at the mercy of his enemies, far from his 
family and separated from his followers, at St. Lucia 
or at St. Helena, assigned to him as his prison. 

And when the allied powers, yielding to the impru- 
dent wishes, to the cruel and pressing demands of 
the House of Bourbon, condescended to violate the 
solemn contract on the faith of which Napoleon had 
freed the French nation from its oaths towards him; 
when he himself and his whole family saw themselves 
menaced, attacked in their persons, in their possessions, 
in their affections, in all the rights stipulated in their 
favour as princes and even in those assured by the 
law to simple citizens, what, then, was Napoleon to do? 


Was he, after having suffered so many insults, 
after having supported so much injustice, to consent to 
the complete violation of the engagements taken towards 
him and, resigning himself personally to the fate 
which was being prepared for him, to further abandon 
his wife, his son, his family, his faithful servants to 
their horrible fate? Such a resolution appears beyond 
human strength, and yet Napoleon might have taken 
it if the peace and the happiness of France had 
been the price of this fresh sacrifice. He would once 
more have sacrificed himself for the French people, 
from whom, as he wishes to make it known throughout 
Europe, it is his glory to hold all he has, to whom 
he wishes to bring all back, and to whom alone 
he wishes to account for his actions and devote 
his life. 

It was for France alone, with the view of sparing her 
the disasters of a civil war, that in 18 14 he abdicated 
his crown. He returned to the French people the 
rights which he held at their hands. He left it free to 
choose for itself a new monarch and to found its 
liberty and its happiness on institutions which should 
safeguard the one and the other. 

He hoped on the nation's behalf for the consecration 
of all that he had acquired by twenty-five years of 
warfare and of glory, the exercise of its sovereignty 
in the choice of a dynasty and in the stipulation of 
the conditions under which it should be called to reign. 

He expected from the new Government respect for the 
glory of the army, the rights of his heroes, the guarantee 
of all new interests, interests created and existent for 
the quarter of a century, resulting from all political 
and civil laws, observed, reserved, from the period 


stated, because these laws are identified with the habits, 
customs, and needs of the nation. 

Far from this, all idea of the sovereignty of the 
people was thrust aside. 

The principle on which all the political and civil 
legislation since the Revolution has rested was equally 
thrust aside. 

France was treated by the Bourbons as a revolted 
country, reconquered by the arms of its former masters 
and once more subjected to a feudal domination. 

Louis-Stanislas-Xavier ignored the treaty which alone 
rendered vacant the throne of France, and the abdica- 
tion which alone allowed him to ascend it. 

He has pretended to have reigned nineteen years, 
thus insulting the governments established during that 
time, the nation which consecrated these govern- 
ments by its votes, and the army which defended them, 
and even the sovereigns who recognized them in their 
numerous treaties. 

A charter drawn up by the Senate, imperfect as it 
was, has been relegated to oblivion. 

There has been imposed on France a so-called con- 
stitutional law, as easy to be evaded as to be revoked, and 
this in the form of a simple royal decree, without 
consulting the nation and without hearing even those 
bodies which have become illegal, phantoms of the 
national representation. 

And as the Bourbons have decreed without right 
and promised without warranty, so they have evaded 
without good faith and executed without loyalty. 

The violation of the alleged charter was restrained only 
by the timidity of the Government: the extent of abuses 
of authority has been limited only by its weakness. 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 501 

The dislocation of the army, the dispersion of its 
officers, the exile of many amongst them, the degradation 
of the soldiers, the suppression of their endowments, 
the stopping of their pay and pension, the reduction 
of the annual sums paid to the members of the Legion 
of Honour, the way in which they have been despoiled 
of their honours, the pre-eminence of the decorations of 
the feudal monarchy, the contempt for the citizens 
once more styled the Third Estate, the despoiling, 
prepared and already in course of execution, of the 
purchasers of national estates, the disproportionate 
reduction in value of the estates which their owners 
have already been obliged to sell, the return of the 
feudality in its titles, its privileges, its useful rights, 
the re-establishment of ultramontane principles, the aboli- 
tion of the liberties of the Gallican Church, the annihila- 
tion of the Concordat, the re-establishment of tithes, 
the renascent intolerance of an exclusive form of wor- 
ship, the domination of a handful of nobles over a 
people accustomed to equality, this is what the Bour- 
bons have done and wished to do for France. 

It is under such circumstances that Napoleon left 
the island of Elba. Such are the motives of the deter- 
mination which he took, and not the consideration of 
his personal interests, so slight in his eyes as compared 
to the interests of the nation to which he has conse- 
crated his existence. 

He has not brought war into the bosom of France, 
he has on the contrary extinguished the war which 
the proprietors of national estates, forming four fifths 
of the French landed proprietors, had been forced to 
wage against their despoilers; the war which the 
citizens, oppressed, abased, humiliated by the nobles, 


would have been forced to declare against their oppres- 
sors ; the war which the Protestants, the Jews, and men 
of various forms of religious worship would have 
been forced to carry on against their persecutors. 

He has come to deliver France and it is also as a 
Liberator that he has been received. 

He arrived almost alone, he. traversed two hundred 
and twenty leagues without meeting any obstacle, 
without fighting, and took back without resistance 
in the heart of the capital and to the sound of the 
acclamations of the immense majority of citizens, 
the throne which had been abandoned by the Bour- 
bons, who could arm nobody either in the army, 
or in their household, or amongst the national guards, 
to attempt to maintain themselves on this throne. 

And, moreover, placed once more at the head of 
the nation which had already chosen him three times, 
which has just for the fourth time designated him by 
the reception paid to him during his march and his 
rapid and triumphant arrival — what does Napoleon 
desire from this nation by which, and in whose inter- 
ests, he wishes to reign? 

He wishes what the French nation wishes: the 
independence of France, peace at home and peace 
abroad, the execution of the treaty of Paris of May 
30th, 1 8 14. 

What then is changed for the future in the state of 
Europe and in the hope of rest which had been 
promised to it? What voice is raised to ask for that 
assistance, which according to the declaration is only 
to be granted in case it is asked for? 

Nothing is changed, if, as one has the right to 
expect of them, the allied powers return to a just and 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 503 

moderate state of mind; if they recognize that the 
existence of France, in a respect-inspiring and in- 
dependent state, as far removed from conquering as 
from being defeated, from dominating as from being 
enslaved, is necessary to the balance of power of the 
great powers as also as the guarantee of the smaller 

Nothing is changed, if, respecting the rights of a 
great nation which wishes to respect the rights of all 
other nations, which, proud and generous, has been 
abased but never can be degraded, it is allowed to 
take back the monarch and to provide itself with a 
constitution and laws which suit its customs, its inter- 
ests, its habits and its new requirements. 

Nothing is changed if, not attempting to force 
France to take back to herself, together with a dynasty 
which she can no longer desire, the feudal chains 
which she snapped in twain, to submit herself to the 
extortions of the nobility and of the church from which 
she has enfranchised herself, it is not sought to impose 
laws upon her, to interfere in her private affairs, to 
assign to her a form of government, to give her 
masters according to the interests or passions of her 

Nothing is changed, if, when France is occupied in 
preparing the new social agreement which will guarantee 
the liberty of her citizens, the triumph of the generous 
ideas which predominate in Europe and which it is 
impossible to stifle, she be not forced to alienate herself, 
for the purpose of taking up arms, from these pacific 
thoughts and the means of prosperity at home to which 
the people and its leader wish to devote themselves 
in a happy union of mind. 



Nothing is changed, if, when the French nation asks 
only to remain at peace with the whole of Europe, 
an unjust coalition does not force it to defend, as it 
did in 1792, its will and its rights, its independence 
and the sovereign of its choice. 

Signed: The Minister of State, President of the 
section of Finance, Count Defermon; 
The Minister of State, President of the 
section of the Interior, Count Regnauld 
de Saint-Jean d'Angely; 
The President of the section of Legis- 
lation, Count BOULAY ; 
The President of the section of War, 
Count Andreossy. 
Certified as in conformity with the original text, 
The Minister Secretary of State, 

Due de Bassano. 

Letter from King Joachim to M. Macirone. 

Ajaccio, 28th Sept., 18 15. 

M. Macirone, envoy of the allied powers to King 
Joachim, — My first letter of to-day was dictated by the 
circumstances of the moment. I now owe it to myself, 
to truth, and to your noble frankness and good faith, 
to inform you of my real intentions. 

I esteem my liberty higher than any other posses- 
sion. Captivity according to my way of thinking is 
synonymous only with death. What treatment can I 
expect from those powers which left me during two 
months under the daggers of the assassins of Mar- 
seilles. I saved the life of the Marquis de Riviere. He 
was sentenced to die on the scaffold and I obtained 
his pardon from the Emperor. Odious truth! it was 
he who secretly urged on these wretches, it was he 
who put a price on my head ! Wandering about in 
the woods, hidden in the mountains, I owe my life 
alone to the generous pity which my misfortunes awoke in 
the hearts of three French officers, who conveyed me 
to Corsica at the greatest risk of their lives. 

Certain wretches allege that I carried away with me 
from Naples great treasures. Do they not know that 
I received this kingdom in exchange for the Grand- 
duchy of Berg, which was my property in accordance 
with a solemn treaty ? I brought to it immense riches, 
all of which were spent for the welfare of my King- 
dom of Naples. Has the sovereign who since has 
come to occupy this kingdom admitted this fact? I 


506 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

have nothing left for my family or myself to live on. 

I shall not accept the conditions which you are com- 
missioned to offer me. I see in them only an abdica- 
tion pure and simple on the sole condition that my life 
will be spared, but that I must live in eternal cap- 
tivity, subjected to the arbitrary action of the laws of a 
despotic government. Where is there here moderation 
or justice? Can one see in these conditions the respect 
due to an unhappy monarch who was formally 
recognized by the whole of Europe, and who at a 
very critical moment decided the issue of the campaign 
of 1814 in favour of these same powers who now, 
contrary to their own interests are crushing him down 
under the excessive weight of their persecutions ? 

It is a well-known fact that I only repelled the 
Austrians as far as the Po because by means of in- 
trigues I had been successfully persuaded that they 
were preparing to attack me, without, however, the 
co-operation of England. I deemed it necessary to ad- 
vance my line of defence and to win over the peoples 
to my side. 

Nobody better than yourself, Sir, as is also the case 
with Lord Bentinck, knows that I only engaged on that 
fatal retreat movement on the declaration made by 
this general that he would be forced to give his as- 
sistance to the Austrians, since they had asked him 
for it. You know the causes which occasioned disorder 
and desertion in my fine army: the false reports of 
my death so cunningly spread abroad, the landing of 
the English in Naples, the conduct of General Pigna- 
telli-Strongoli, and finally the treachery of certain 
amongst my officers who succeeded, with perfidious 
art, in increasing by their example and by their 


speeches discouragement and desertion in my army. 

There is not to-day living a single member of that 
army who has not recognized his mistake. I am leav- 
ing to join them. They are burning with the desire 
to see me once more at their head. They have pre- 
served for me all their affection, as have also all classes 
of my well-beloved subjects. I have not abdicated. 
I have the right to resume my crown if God grant me 
the strength and the means. My presence on the 
throne of Naples cannot now be the cause of any fear. 
Secret understandings with Napoleon, who is no longer 
on the island of Elba, can no longer be pretended. 
Quite on the contrary England and Austria may derive 
advantages therefrom for which they would wait in 
vain at the hands of the sovereign whom they have 
wished to put in my place. I enter into these parti- 
culars, Sir, because it is to you that I am writing. 
Your conduct towards me, your reputation and 
your name entitle you to my frankness and to my 
esteem. You will be unable to put any obstacles 
in the way of my departure even should you wish to 
do so. 

At the time that this letter is handed to you, I shall 
already have travelled a good distance towards my 
destination. I shall either succeed or I shall end my 
misfortunes with my life. I have braved death a 
thousand times in fighting for my fatherland. Shall 
I not be allowed to affront it a single time for myself? 
I tremble only for the fate of my family. 

I shall always remember with pleasure the noble and 
delicate manner in which you have discharged your 
mission towards me. It contrasts pleasantly with the 
gratuitously insolent and revolting conduct of several 

508 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

persons, who have neither the same power nor enjoy 
the same respect as yourself. 

I have given orders that your papers be returned to 
you. And hereupon, M. Macirone, I pray God that 
He may hold you in His holy and worthy keeping, 

(Signed:) JOACHIM. 

Preface to the Notice on General Neipperg. 

At the time of the death of General Neipperg, 
M. Saulnier, at that time director of the Revue Britan- 
nique, caused me to be asked to contribute a notice 
of this person. I undertook in the following article to 
throw light upon the double combination of the coali- 
tion, which, whilst wounding Napoleon in his person, 
removed from him the support which he might have 
found in the effect of his union with an Austrian 
princess, in separating him from his wife and his son 
and inducing the Empress to abandon his cause. It 
was a matter of importance to the coalition to prevent 
all resistance on the part of this princess and to strip 
her of the prestige of public favour so as to annihilate 
her and to more surely consummate their common 

This article appeared in the number of the Revue 
Britannique for February, 1829, under the title of 
Esquisses Contemporaines. Certain errors which crept 
in during the printing have been corrected, and certain 
passages have been reinstated which the editor of the 
Revue had either changed or suppressed to avoid 
compromising himself with the Government censorship 
and quarrelling with his foreign subscribers. 

Count Neipperg. 

General Count Neipperg has just died at Parma 
after a long agony, at the age of fifty-seven; he was 
born in 177 1. For the last three years he had been 



fighting against an incurable disease, the progress of 
which was only checked by the science and zeal of a 
skilful doctor. He had felt a serious increase of this 
disease on his return from a journey to Vienna on 
which he had accompanied the Duchess of Parma in 
the course of last September. Count Neipperg, desirous 
of following this princess to Piedmont, was living with 
her in one of the King of Sardinia's pleasure-houses, 
when his disease took so serious a complexion that 
the doctors despaired of being able to prolong his life, 
and indeed the report that he was dead spread itself 
prematurely. The transfer of the dying man was then 
imperatively enjoined by that court etiquette which 
establishes distinctions even in death and will not 
suffer that a patient not belonging to the reigning 
family should die in a royal residence. It is stated 
that the sovereign's dislike for M. de Neipperg, as 
much as the rules of the palace rendered his removal 
necessary. He was transported to Turin and carried 
back in a litter from that city to Parma, where he died 
on the 22nd December last. 

Count Neipperg has followed into the grave the great 
man to whose ruin he so actively contributed. When 
the princes of the coalition, like unto the seven chiefs 
sacrificing to Fear before Thebes, had made up their 
minds to immolate Napoleon to their repose, it was 
to the hatred of the English Cabinet that they confided 
this care. This Cabinet, faithful to its traditions, drew 
this too confident enemy into a trap, and then violating 
in its first application the principle of Christian charity, 
pompously set forth in the preamble of the treaty of 
the Holy Alliance, made haste to entomb him alive 
in the midst of the abyss of the sea, separated for 


ever from the world and handed over to the brut- 
ality of a gaoler constituted the executioner to the 

Nor was that all; the great and unhappy man, gifted 
with a soul which rose superior to the gratuitous 
vexations to which it was desired to subject him, was 
deprived by an implacable line of policy of the comfort 
so dear to the heart of the exile, of receiving from 
time to time news of his wife and his son, of hearing 
that they were still living and that they had not for- 
gotten him. A profusion of prohibitive measures, often 
base in their form and always gratuitously odious, was 
lavished to intercept the most innocent communications 
by which ingenious fidelity or generous pity for mis- 
fortune might have softened his captivity; but only 
the half of this odious task was fulfilled. 

If his wife and his son, the one a widow, the other 
an orphan before their time, had been snatched away 
from his tenderness, they still remained the object of 
the interest of Europe. That sentiment of kindly feeling 
which attaches itself to great misfortunes, to feeble 
beings, and innocent victims, was bound to reflect on 
the illustrious exile, whose bosom was being torn by 
the British vulture. Politics with their crooked and 
tortuous ways, came to lend their aid to violence. 

Lying reports were first spread as to the legitimacy 
of the child, but these reports fell to the ground before 
the honesty of the Emperor of Austria. This princes 
solicitude for the mother was more easily abused. 
Marie Louise, without being aware of the fact, became 
one of the principal agents of whom the coalition made 
use to ensure the ruin of the enemy whose close 
captivity did not sufficiently reassure it. The Austrian 


oligarchy was charged with the second act of this 
great drama. It sought amongst its agents for the man 
best suited for the accomplishment of its designs. The 
Emperor of Austria had cast his eyes on the head of 
a family illustrious by his birth and by the splendour 
which comes from a large fortune, with the intention 
of placing him with his daughter; but this person did 
not doubtless offer the resources which were deemed 
necessary for the part for which he was intended, and 
Count Neipperg was chosen. Sprung from an old 
Wurtemberg family, he had attached himself to the 
service of Austria. His talents had won him the 
confidence of Prince de Metternich. He had already 
displayed his capacities, first at Stockholm and after- 
wards at Naples. Austrian ambassador to Stockholm 
in 1 812, he was not a stranger to the treaty of Orebro 
by which the Prince Royal of Sweden armed himself 
against the country which had reared him, and handed 
her over to England and Russia. Under the veil 
of the alliance, whilst an Austrian corps was giving 
the French army the assistance of an equivocal co- 
operation, the Vienna oligarchy was secretly raising 
up enemies to the son-in-law and ally of its master, and 
was working on the passions of a man who had owed 
his pardon for guilty undertakings to the long suffering 
of the First Consul, and a throne to the generosity of a 
great soul, which disdained to remember ingratitude. 
He had married, in this country, a woman with 
whom he had eloped from her husband and with whom 
he had five children. This woman died at the beginning 
of 1815, after an illness of two days. Her first husband 
was still living in 1 8 1 4. The death of this first husband 
preceded hers only by a few days. 

MENEVAL'S memoirs of napoleon I. 513 

Count Neipperg was sent with new instructions from 
Stockholm to Naples. It was owing to the seductions 
exercised by him and the promises which he held out 
that the heroic and unhappy Joachim was decided to 
embrace a line of action the hazardous advantages of 
which had been in his mind since our first disasters, 
but which success alone could justify. He induced him 
to sign, on January nth, 18 14, a treaty by which the 
King of Naples made common cause with the coalized 
allies and put into the field an army, the defection of 
which a year later was to surrender him defenceless 
to his perfidious allies. 

These successes were so great a recommendation 
that it was not probable that so precious an instrument 
for another work of seduction would be passed over. 
Count Neipperg accordingly flew to Mantua, carrying 
a letter from the King of Bavaria to his son-in-law, 
Prince Eugene. He based himself on this letter to 
propose to the prince that he should follow the example 
of his father-in-law and cease a resistance which Na- 
poleon's fall and abdication rendered useless. Eugene 
answered his pressing requests with these words: "I 
know nothing about politics, but if it is true that the 
Emperor Napoleon has abdicated, let us not lose a 
moment, let us join our troops together and march to 
support the rights of the Empress-Regent and of her 
son." That was not what the cunning diplomat wanted; 
but what was not obtained by intrigue was brought 
about by the force of circumstances. 

The fall of the European colossus having rendered 
the employment of Neipperg's diplomatic talents un- 
necessary, he went to France to get his part of the 
easy successes which the allies were winning there. 


514 mexeval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

He happened to be in Italy, with a command, in the 
month of July, 1 8 1 4, when the Empress Marie Louise left 
Vienna for the Aix waters in Savoy. General Neip- 
perg came to meet her at a distance of two stages 
from Aix. He was then a man of a little over forty 
years of age, of middle height but of distinguished 
bearing. The hussar uniform, which he usually wore, 
and his fair and curly hair gave him the appearance 
of youth. A large black bandage covered the cica- 
trice of a wound by which he had lost an eye; his 
look was keen, piercing, and inquisitorial, his manners 
were elegant and polite, his language was insinuating, 
and this, combined with agreeable talents, predisposed 
people in his favour. He was not long in winning 
Marie Louise's good graces. Gifted with a supple and 
facile mind, supported at every point by the Prime 
Minister, speaking in the name of a father for whom 
this princess professed the greatest deference, he made 
rapid progress in the confidence of a young woman of an 
easy and kind-hearted character, repelled by her adopted 
country, separated from the devotion of the small 
number of Frenchmen who had attached themselves to 
her evil fortune, and still under the influence of the 
terrors of the most overwhelming catastrophe which 
ever shattered a royal existence. 

At Blois, a Russian general comes to remove her 
and to conduct her to Orleans with an escort of Cossacks. 
At Orleans, officers are sent by her father to conduct 
her to Rambouillet, the gates and avenues of which 
she finds guarded by Cossacks. An Austrian staff is 
1 ommissioned to conduct her to Vienna from Rambouil- 
let, passing stage by stage through the Austrian army 
and crossing through Tyrol, which is devoted to the 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 515 

House of Austria. At Aix, an Austrian general lives 
with her, and his dissembled supervision is backed up 
by a corps stationed in the neighbourhood. 

Thus do barriers spring up in ever-increasing numbers 
beneath her feet. Wherever she finds herself, a wall 
of iron rises up between her and the husband whom 
politics had united to her lot for a given period. The 
tie formed by the Church is not severed, but human 
laws and natural feelings are wilfully ignored. 

General Neipperg was very attentive to Marie Louise 
during the six weeks which she passed at Aix. After 
the season of the waters, he accompanied her on a 
pleasure tour which she took in Switzerland, the 
various districts of which she travelled through. She 
enjoyed, with delight, the liberty resulting from an ab- 
sence of all Court ceremony, and was able to satisfy 
her predominating taste for private life. 

He returned to Vienna with her towards the end of 
the summer. His affectation of devotion to her interests, 
the activity of the steps which he took on her behalf, 
his pleadings in her favour, had touched the heart of 
Marie Louise. She undertook not to receive any letter 
from the island of Elba without handing it to her 
father, and not to answer it without his consent. Thus 
were the effusions of conjugal love and paternal solici- 
tude subjected to the inquisition of a congress of inimical 
kings. To obtain this sacrifice from her it was pointed 
out to her that the interests of her son, even the 
interests of her husband exacted it. On her return 
from Aix she was lured with the hope that her sub- 
mission would put her in possession of the States which 
had been promised to her, that her son would accom- 
pany her there and would succeed her. Separated 


from her husband by insurmountable obstacles she 
concentrated all her solicitude on her son. 

In proportion to the success obtained by the man- 
oeuvres which were employed to separate the former 
Empress of the French from her husband and from 
France, difficulties arose. The French and Spanish 
ambassadors made objections and raised claims, the 
importance of which one did not fail to exaggerate. 
One of the French plenipotentiaries, Due Dalberg, 
happening to be at the house of Madame de Brignole, 
his mother-in-law, whose honourable feelings attached 
her to the losing cause, remarked aloud that the Arch- 
duchess Marie Louise would not have Parma, and that 
the allies would not suffer the race of Bonaparte to 
have an independent principality. Count Neipperg, 
seizing upon this opportunity for displaying his zeal, 
wrote out a memorandum intended to combat the 
claims of Spain and to establish the rights of the 
House of Austria over the duchies of Parma. In the 
end these resistances, in part genuine, in part feigned, 
by which Marie Louise was being intimidated, ended 
in a declaration that she should obtain possession of 
the duchies, but on the express condition that her son 
should not accompany her. Fresh pressure was exerted 
on the princess to bring her to this new sacrifice and 
fresh considerations were put forward to overcome her 
reluctance. General Neipperg pointed out how impossible 
it was that the son of Napoleon should be allowed to 
go to Italy, and invoked the testimony of one and all to 
the effect that the Empress's real friends would implore 
her to leave her son in Vienna if his presence in Italy 
was to injure this young prince's interests, whilst 
reserving to herself the faculty of seeing him every year. 


Whilst matters were in this state, the news of the 
return from the island of Elba came to strike terror 
into the midst of the council of Amphictyons,* who, 
lulled in trustful security, whilst pretending to settle 
the equilibrium of Europe, were sharing its spoils. 
This event made it deemed necessary to exercise a 
more direct supervision over Napoleon's young son. 
He was removed from the motnerly care of his re- 
spectable governess, Madame la Comtesse de Montes- 
quiou, and taken from the chateau of Schonbrunn, 
where he was living with his mother, to the palace 
of Vienna, where an apartment adjoining that of the 
Emperor was assigned to him. At the same time 
General Neipperg induced his mother to sign a decla- 
ration by which she protested that she was an entire 
stranger to Napoleon's plans and that she placed her- 
self under the protection of the allies. 

The widow of an Austrian general was appointed 
governess to Napoleon's son. She was intended to 
act as lady-in-waiting to Marie Louise during the first 
moments of General Neipperg's absence, the general 
having been sent to Italy about that time. A year 
later, when Count Maurice Dietrichstein was appointed 
tutor to the young prince, this lady was appointed 
Grand Mistress to the Duchess of Parma. Thus the 
guardianship exercised over Marie Louise was not 
suspended for a single moment. 

At the commencement of April, 1815, General Neipperg 
went to assume the command of the vanguard of the 
Austrian army, which was opposed to the King of 
Naples. Fate destined him to consummate the ruin of 
this prince, which he had commenced a year before. 

* Greek History. 


He was the first to enter Naples and was for a short 
time governor of this city. After this short campaign, 
the division which he was commanding was sent to 
the South of France. He only remained there a short 
time. About six months after his departure from the 
army, having been appointed Grand Master of the 
Duchess of Parma's household, he returned to Vienna 
where he once more joined Marie Louise. In the Gard 
department, where he exercised his command, this Roman 
Catholic General was very useful to the Protestants, 
and left an honourable remembrance of himself in this 
province. During his absence, thanks to a constant 
exchange of letters, Marie Louise had not been de- 
prived of his counsels. 

A decision of the Empress's affairs had been suspended 
during the pleadings of the great suit which was at 
last decided in the plains of Waterloo. When the 
Princess's consent to all the conditions which it was 
wished to impose upon her had been obtained, and 
there was no further reason to fear any resistance on 
her part, the Congress published its decision, a decision 
which had been come to long before, to deprive her 
son of his rights of succession. The deed dated June 
9th, 1 8 15, settled that the reversion of the States of 
Parma should be decided by a general agreement 
amongst the allied princes. By the same deed Marie 
Louise was declared Duchess of Parma, Piacenza, and 
Guastalla, and the life-sovereignty of this country was 
conferred upon her, but it was only about a year later, 
when it was well assured that the lion was garrotted and 
that it was entirely out of his power to break his chains, 
that Marie Louise became free to proceed to Parma, 
after having embraced, with tears in her eyes, the son, 

meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 519 

who had become for her an indispensable source of 
comfort, but the sweet privilege of educating whom 
under her eyes was denied her by umbrageous politics. 
She sought after a feeble compensation for the happiness 
which was refused to -her in the assiduous care which 
she never ceased to bestow on his education. Thus 
this young prince, like to a small tree transplanted to 
a foreign clime, found himself, in his earliest youth, 
ravished from his fatherland and the affection of his 
parents, but the interest and the affection of his maternal 
grandfather protected him. Supported by this kindly 
protection, he is growing up in silence, proving his 
illustrious origin by his resemblance to his father, by 
the meditative expression of his features, and by the 
precocious development of his faculties. To whom may 
it be given to foresee the fate which awaits him? 

" Heu, miserande puer! si qua fata aspera rumpas . . . ." 

General Neipperg followed the Duchess of Parma 
into her new States, with unlimited powers. Already 
in the month of April this princess had surrendered to 
her father all her rights of government in the duchies. 
Neipperg, continuing in Parma the mission which he 
had fulfilled in Vienna with complete success, exerted 
all his vigilance to isolate the Duchess of Parma from 
all her past souvenirs. A strict police system barred 
the way to anyone who might have spoken to her of 
France and of her husband. The bent of Marie Louise's 
character had always kept her away from all matters 
concerning politics or government. During her stay 
in Prague in 18 12, after the meeting in Dresden, her 
stepmother had urged her to take advantage of Napo- 

520 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

leon's affection for her, to become initiated into public 
affairs, but she had always refused to follow this advice. 
Advantage was taken of her inexperience. General 
Neipperg sent for a number of pamphlets and writings 
inspired by hatred and party spirit to misrepresent the 
character and principles of Napoleon's government. 
These publications were read out aloud in the ducal 

Finally, to tell all, the restless curiosity which seeks 
to penetrate the secrets of the private life of sovereigns, 
that sentiment of envy which is aroused in the majo- 
rity of men by stations exalted above the stations of 
others, have spread abroad in Italy the report that 
the man, who had admitted having, in his instructions, 
authority to carry matters as far as they could be carried, 
had added gallantry to his means of influence. It has 
been said that the princess gave birth to children, and 
that after Napoleon's death a marriage of conscience 
came to cover with the cloak of religion a premature 
union. We must abstain from expressing any opinion 
on an allegation the proof of which has not reached 
us, which, however, seems to offer certain appearances 
of probability, upon which malignity cannot fail to 

It is right to recognize that Count Neipperg's govern- 
ment has left regrets in Parma, that the absolute powers 
with which he was invested were employed by him to the 
country's best interest, that a moderation and a tolerance 
which contrast in a remarkable manner with the regi- 
men to which the neighbouring countries are subjected, 
presided over his acts. Taking all into consideration, 
Count Neipperg cannot have been a vulgar man. The 
Duchess of Parma loses in him a minister whose skill 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 521 

rendered him useful. It is difficult for limitless authority 
to be always exercised without contradiction, and so 
it has been said that Marie Louise, in spite of the 
docility of her character and her reluctance to enforce 
the will which she derived from her first education 
and from her union with Napoleon, used sometimes to 
bear the yoke which had been laid upon her with 
impatience. However, she appears to be inconsolable 
for the loss which she has just experienced. To fill 
the void which this loss has left in her life, she sur- 
rounds herself with reminders of the man whom she 
does not cease to deplore. She has even given orders 
that a magnificent mausoleum be erected to his memory 
in testimony of the bitterness of her regrets. The 
following is the letter which she wrote to Doctor 
Aglietti, the celebrated Italian doctor who had attended 
General Neipperg during his last illness. 

"Parma, April 5th, 1829. 
"I received your letter of March 29th, a few days 
ago, my dear Aglietti. The sentiments which you 
express in it touched me deeply and I beg you to believe 
that I fully believe that you did everything in the 
world to save the life of our dear departed. But there 
are occasions unfortunately where all the talent, which 
you possess in so high a degree, and all the efforts 
of art are powerless, for it is impossible to fight against 
the Divine Will. You are very right in saying that 
time and religion can alone diminish the bitterness of 
such a loss. Alas, the former, far from exercising 
its power over me only daily increases my grief, * and 
were you to see me at this moment, you would find 

* Marie Louise afterwards married a third husband, M. de Bombelles. 


me very much less calm and resigned than when you 
left Parma. I have been very ill since that time, 
with rheumatic fever and periodical nervous pains. 
M. — treated me very well and set me up again, but I 
have difficulty in getting back to myself again. In 
this kind of illness one needs amusement, but where can 
one find it when one feels oneself surrounded with 
nothing but a fearful void and when the heart is for 
ever dead to happiness ? I should be delighted if in 
time an occasion might present itself for me to see 
you and to express to you the feelings of esteem and 
friendship with which I remain your affectionate 

"Marie Louise." 

The following details may be added to what precedes. 

When Marie Louise arrived in Parma the inhabitants 
of the duchies fancied they had found the shadow of 
that French rule, dear to the Italians who feel to-day 
that they were happy only by France. During the 
first twelve years, Marie Louise justified the expecta- 
tions of her new subjects, order and regularity were 
re-established in every department of her government, 
and debts were paid. The forms of French government, 
which had been so easily naturalized in these provinces, 
were almost entirely maintained. The civil and mili- 
tary functionaries who had served under the Empire, 
were kept in their places, as far as depended on the 
sovereign. If she was unable always to preserve her 
country from Austrian greed, she at least preserved 
it from the arbitrariness and the illiberal spirit of this 
^'vernment. The duchies of Parma and Piacenza 
enjoyed a liberty which was unknown to the other 
states of Italy. Improvements and embellishments 

MENEVAL'S memoirs of napoleon i. 523 

were introduced, bridges and dykes assured communi- 
cations too often interrupted by the overflow of the 
Taro and the Trebbia, hospitals were founded for old 
people, for the sick, for women in childbed ; asylums were 
founded for orphans, a theatre, and a gallery for a 
museum were constructed, and so on. It must be 
added that the credit of this beneficent administration is 
especially due to the Duchess's minister. Count 
Neipperg, whom a disordered ambition and his per- 
sonal interest had rendered one of the bitterest enemies 
of the Emperor and of France, was, it must be said, 
an enlightened man and a good administrator ; to these 
qualities he added good intentions. He won for Marie 
Louise the esteem and the affection of the inhabitants ; 
his death was a misfortune for her. No longer restrained 
by his firm and skilful hand venality and evil passions 
got the upper hand, disaffection was not slow to follow 
and made rapid progress. The movements which took 
place in Italy in the year 1831, the counterblow of 
our revolution in 1830, caused a revolt to break out. 
The Duchess flees from Parma to Casal-Maggiore and 
goes to ask assistance from the Austrians against her 
subjects. She returned, escorted by Austrian troops, 
and lent her name to the vexations and persecutions 
of every kind which were exercised by the Vienna Cabi- 
net, without the Duchess of Parma being guilty of any 
other complicity than that of feebleness and want of will. 
The country fell once more under Austria's leaden yoke, 
and was once more worked for its profit by Count 
Neipperg's successors in the government. To the affection 
which the Duchess of Parma had at first inspired 
succeeded disrespect, indifference, and hidden resentment. 
Marie Louise had united herself to Count Neipperg 

524 meneval's memoirs of NAPOLEON I. 

by a morganatic marriage. She had three children by 
him. The eldest daughter married the son of Count 
de San Vitale, the Grand Chamberlain of Parma, and 
lives at her mother's court. The second child, Count 
de Montenuovo, is an officer in the Austrian army. 
The third child, who was a daughter, died at an early 
age. The fact of this union being established I shall 
not investigate whether the children's births were 
legitimized by a regular act or whether Marie Louise's 
union with Count Neipperg preceded Napoleon's death. 
In Italy, in that country of easy arrangements, the 
sanctification of a union is the simplest thing in the 
world. Two persons who wish to marry declare their 
intention before a priest, who confesses them, gives 
them the absolution and marries them, and all that 
without the intervention of witnesses being necessary. 
However, in Vienna as in Parma, Marie Louise never 
ceased to express her firm resolution not to provoke 
a divorce and never to accept any such proposal. 
This reason, and especially the mystery which enshrouded 
the birth of the children, induced the belief that this 
princess only contracted a new marriage after the 
death of her first husband. 

A person worthy of all confidence told me in May, 
1826, that only a short time previously Marie Louise 
had written to M. de Fellemberg, director of the fine 
agricultural establishments at Hofwill near Berne, that 
having just confidence in his principles and his enlighten- 
ment, she begged him to undertake to find her a virtuous 
lady, of gentle manners, well-educated, possessing the ton 
of the best society and, in one word, endowed with the 
necessary qualities for educating two young orphan 
girls in whom she took the greatest interest. She 

meneval's memoirs of napoleon i. 525 

added that it was intended to give these girls a brilliant 
education, because they were destined to occupy a 
distinguished position in society. M. de Fellemberg, 
on receipt of this letter, set to work to find the 
governess who should fulfil all these conditions. Three 
weeks later he replied to the Duchess of Parma that, 
having conscientiously busied himself with the com- 
mission which had been given to him, his choice had 
fixed itself on the sister of a near relation * of a Berne ma- 
gistrate who was known by his very remarkable political 
and literary works. He added that he had made sure of 
her consent, that this lady, who was about forty years old, 
was a lady of the best social ton, highly educated, knowing 
French, Italian, and English like her mother tongue, a 
woman of the best principles and coming of one of the 
best Swiss families ; that he proposed her with all the 
more confidence because to these qualities she added the 
advantage of being related in a degree to the House 
of Lorraine. About a month later, Count Neipperg 
wrote in the Duchess's name that the choice of the 
person proposed seemed likely to suit, but that the 
consent of the Court of Vienna, to whom the matter 
was to be referred, was necessary. After an interval 
of some weeks, the same Count Neipperg wrote again 
to M. de Fellemberg to thank him for the trouble he 
had taken, and to inform him that the answer from 
Vienna had been to the effect that for the present the 
children in question could dispense with a governess, 
and that arrangements would be made for them when 
they had reached a more advanced age. 

♦Mademoiselle de Bonstetten. 



Abel, 250. 

Aberdeen (Earl of), 399. 

Abrantes (Due d'), see Junot 

Adams (John, President of U. S. A.), 

Agamemnon, 20, 321. 
Aglietti (Doctor), 521. 
Ajax, 211. 

Albufera (Duke of), see Suchet. 
Aldini (Count), 325, 374, 428. 
Aldobrandini (Prince), see Borghese. 
Alexander I. (Emperor of Russia), 

22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 49, 59,64, 

65, 67, 68, 82, " 

88, 92, 94, 
137, 156, 

113, 114, 129, 

181, 182, 185, 203, 208, 

210, 219, 220, 227, 230, 

260, 311, 313, 315, 316, 

329, 338, 339, 34*, 342, 
35i, 354, 372, 373, 375, 
384, 388, 389, 390, 427, 

433, 447, 479, 480. 
Altieri (Abbe), 380. 
Ambrugeac (Count Louis d'), 50. 
Amelin, 298. 
Amphictyon, 517. 
Andreossy (General), 362, 504. 




Angouleme (Due d'), 494. 

Angouleme (Duchess d'), 494. 

Anne of Austria (Queen of France), 

Anspach (Margrave of), 309. 

Anstett (d'), 126. 

Antseus, 93. 

Archchancellor (of France), see 

Aristides, 328, 379. 

Armandi (Colonel), 292. 

Arsenievv, 46. 

Artois (Comte d'), see Charles X. 

Astyanax, 195, 360. 

Athalin (Captain), 445. 

Auerstadt (Duke of), see Davout. 

Augeard, 446. 

Augereau (Marshal, Duke of Cas- 
tiglione), 166. 

"Austin", 308. 

Austria (Emperor Francis I. of), 
14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24,25, 
101, 128, 129, 132, 135, 142, 
156, 162, 171, 172, 176, 177, 
181, 189, 190, 207, 209, 225, 
226, 228, 231, 232, 233, 234, 
235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 
244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 
251, 252, 253, 254, 257, 258, 
259, 260, 264, 269, 270, 273, 

* Napoleon Bonaparte, being mentioned on almost every page, is not referred to 
in this Index. His first wife is indexed under "Josephine (Empress)," his second 
wife under "Marie Louise (Empress)," and his son under "Rome (King of)." 




274, 276, 278, 279, 280, 281, 

282, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 

290, 295, 297, 298, 299, 300, 

307, 310, 311, 312, 314, 315, 

317, 318, 319, 320, 325, 326, 

328, 329, 342, 344, 347, 349, 

35 1 , 353, 354, 359, 360, 361, 

363, 364, 3 6 5, 366, 368, 369, 

37o, 373. 374, 380, 381, 383, 

384, 386, 387, 398, 400, 415, 

417, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 

432, 435, 436, 439, 444, 479, 

487, 511, 512, 514, 515, 517, 


Austria (Empress of), Second Wife 
of Emperor Francis, see Maria 
Theresa of Sicily ; Third Wife, 
see Este (Maria Louise Beatrice). 

Austria (Prince Imperial of, after- 
wards Emperer Ferdinand I.), 
331, 372. 

Austria (Archdukes of), 15, 19, 
20, 273, 281, 325, 331, 385, 
428, 440, 443. See also Charles 
(Archduke), Francis (Archduke), 
John (Archduke), and Louis 

Austria (Archduchesses of), 15, 
2^3, 275, 325, 330, 359. See 
also Leopoldine (Archduchess). 

Auvity (Doctor), 206. 


Bacciochi (Frederic N.), 369. 
Bacciochi (N. Elisa), 369. 
Baden (Charles L. F., Grand-duke 

of), 19, 121, 435. 
Baden (Grand-duchess of, Princess 

Stephanie de Beauharnais), 121. 
Bagration (Prince), 48. 
Bagration (Princess), 345. 
Balakoff (General), 28, 29. 
Baldani (Count), 132. 
Ballonhey, 293. 

Baragney d'Hilliers (General), 71. 
Barbara (Captain), 420. 
Barclai de Tolli (General), 47, 48, 


lianas, 221. 

Barsay (Mme. Aurore), 64. 

Bassano (Duke of), see Maret. 

Bastard (Captain), 416, 418. 

Bausset (Baron de, Prefect of the 
Palace), 52, 206, 226, 232, 239, 
245, 263, 264, 268, 276, 284, 
290, 294, 296, 300, 309, 326, 
340, 345, 355- 

Bavaria (Maximilian Joseph, King 
of), 140, 141, 230, 266, 311, 
3i3, 334, 335. 350, 388, 390, 

Bavaria (Prince Royal of, after- 
wards King Ludwig I.), 272, 

Bavaria (Princess Royal of), 272. 

Beauharnais (Count Claude de), 
124, 206. 

Beauharnais (Prince Eugene de, 
Duke of Leutenberg, Prince of 
Ponte-Corvo, and of Eichstadt), 
61, 69, 71, 72, 77, 101, 113, 
163, 166, 167, 266, 267, 290, 
332, 338, 34i, 373, 374, 381, 
388, 389, 390, 391, 431, 441, 

497, 513- 
Beauharnais (Princess Eugene de, 

Princess Amelia of Bavaria). 

266, 267, 290, 291, 388. 
Beauharnais (Hortense de, Queen 

of Holland), 208, 293, 373, 468, 

Beauharnais (Josephine de), see 

Josephine (Empress). 
Beauharnais (Princess Stephanie 

de), see Baden (Grand-duchessof). 
Beauvau (Prince Mark de), 79. 
Beauvau (Princess de), 79. 
Beauvau (Lieutenant de), 79. 
Becker (General), 470. 
Bellart, 210. 

Bellegarde (Marshal), 267, 400. 
Bellune (Duke de), see Victor 


Benfevent (Prince de),$« Talleyrand. 
Bentinck (General Lord William), 

396, 398, 399, 4°°, 4°2, 4°3> 
Berg (Grand-duke of), see Mm at 



Bernadotte (General, Prince Royal 
of Sweden, afterwards King 
Charles XIV.), 13 7, 13 9, H3> 

184, 185, 186, 391, 512. 
Bernard (Colonel), 118. 
Berry (Duchess of), 283. 
Berthier (Marshal, Prince of 

Wagram and of Neufchatel), 41, 
42, 43, 44, 45, 88, T02, 169, 

185, 204, 441. 

Bertrand (General), 115,232,244, 
257, :68, 269, 285, 286, 287, 

288, 289, 327, 343, 388, 440, 

Bertrand (Mme.), 286, 469. 
Bessieres (Marshal, Due d'Istrie), 

116, 117. 
Beugnot (Count), 245. 
Beurnonville (General), 21 1, 241. 
Blacas d'Aulps {Minister), 245, 337. 
Blticher (Field-marshal), 173, 174, 

175, 189, 254, 452, 457. 
Boissy d'Anglas, 302. 
Bombelles (de), 295, 522. 
Bonafous (Colonel), 404, 405, 407, 

Bonaparte (Madame, Mother of 

Napoleon), 25, 50, 234, 252, 

289, 348. 

Bonaparte (Princess Caroline, Queen 
of Naples, Countess of Lipona), 
124, 167, 337, 404, 405, 415, 

Bonaparte (Princess Elisa, Grand- 
duchess of Tuscany), 369, 428. 

Bonaparte (Prince Jerome, King 
of Westphalia), 19, 152, 153, 
207, 226, 227, 234, 235, 237, 

Bonaparte (Prince Joseph, Count 
de Survilliers, King of Spain), 
101, 102, 109, 150, 151, 152, 
153, 165, 166, 167, 168, 170, 
173, 176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 
184, 185, 186, 188, 191, 192, 
194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 
200, 202, 203, 204, 207, 208, 
209, 212, 226, 229, 234, 235, 
252, 303, 304, 305, 354, 369, 
386, 429, 447, 450,457,462,476. 


Bonaparte (Princess Joseph; Julia, 
Queen of Spain), 186, 207, 252, 
303, 305, 429. 

Bonaparte (Prince Louis, Comte 
de Saint-Leu, King of Holland), 
96, 97, 153, 235, 252,305,306. 

Bonaparte (Princess Louis), see 
Beauharnais (Queen Hortense). 

Bonaparte (Prince Lucien), 152. 

Bonstetten (Mile, de), 525. 

Borghese (Prince Aldobrandini), 

Bossuet, 488. 

Boubers (Mme. de), 206. 

Boulay de la Meurthe, 196, 458, 

Bourbons (the Family), 153, 159, 
185, 191, 209, 210, 212, 219, 
222, 265, 333, 354, 363, 389, 
412, 456, 457, 458, 463, 474, 

493, 495, 498, 5°o> 50!> 5° 2 - 

Bourbons of Naples, 303. 

Bourdier (Doctor), 206. 

Bourmont (General de), 451. 

Bourrienne (de), 193. 

Brennus, 202, 458. 

Bresson, 381, 384, 497. 

Brignole (Countess de), 154, 206, 
267, 276, 284, 285, 289, 290, 
296, 302, 305, 306, 309, 323. 
332, 339, 343. 344, 345, 35^, 
37o, 37i, 372, 376, 385, 5 l6 - 

Brignole (Marquis de), 350, 371, 

Brignole (Antoine de), 356. 

Brignole (Mme. Antoine de), 356. 

Brignole (Mile, de), 212. 

Brionne (Countess de), 376. 

Brulart (Marshal), 496. 

Brune (Marshal), 406. 

Bubna (General de), 113, 129,367. 

Bulow (General), 452. 

Cadore (Due de), see Champagny. 
Cadoudal (Georges), 138, 406, 496. 
Caesar, 281, 489. 
Caffarelli (General), 109,124,227, 
241, 263, 268, 275. 



Cambaceres (de, Archchancellor of 
France), 18, 109, 114, 115, 120, 
123, 141, 163, 165, 187, 192, 
196, 197, 198, 206, 226, 240. 

Cambronne (General), 242, 253. 

Cambyses, 91. 

Camillus, 202, 458. 

Campbell (Colonel), 261. 

Canisy (de, Equerry), 201, 206, 

Canisy (Mme. de, afterwards 
Duchess de Vicence), 466, 467. 

Canisy (de, Uncle of the Equerry), 

Canuel (General), 379. 

Carabelli (the brothers), 416. 

Carlos (Don, Infant of Etruria), 
317, 318, 385, 479. 

Carnot, 458, 460, 461, 462, 463. 

Caroline (Archduchess), see Bona- 
parte (Princess Caroline). 

Castiglione (Duke of), see Augereau. 

Castiglione (Duchess de), 206. 

Castlereagh (Viscount), 162, 172, 
174, 239, 247, 320, 321, 336, 
337, 34 2 , 349, 399, 4°o, 403, 

Catherine II. (Empress of Russia), 
59, 220. 

Cato, 458. 

Caulaincourt (General, Due de 
Vicence, Grand Equerry), 53, 
89, 113, 114, 117, 126, 129, 
156, 161, 162, 168, 169, 170, 
172, 176, 183, 184, 188, 210, 
218, 227, 233, 234, 236, 248, 
249, 251, 255, 257, 259, 380, 
382, 383, 392, 394, 449, 4<>3> 
4O4, 465, 466, 467. 

Caulaincourt (General AugUSte, 
Brother of the Grand Equerry), 

Caulaincourt (Marquis de, Father 

of the Grand JC</nerry), 464. 
(Count Lacurc dc), 157, 1/8. 
Champagny (Nompere, Comte de, 

Due die Cadore), 109, 176,226, 

232, 237, 238, 241, 244, 251. 
Charette, 99. 
Charlemagne, 91. 

Charles (Archduke), 373, 386, 394, 

Charles IV. (King of Spain), 149. 
Charles X. (King of Fiance, Comte 

d'Artois), 220, 222, 223, 243, 

249, 267, 354. 
Charlotte (Princess, Daughter of 

Countess de Brionue), 376. 
Chevalley, 293. 
Chiappe, 184. 

Choiseul-Praslin (Duke de), 1 08. 
Christiani (Baron), 208. 
Cincinnatus, 303. 
Claparede (General), 69. 
Clarke (General, Due de Feltre), 

200, 227. 
Clausel (Marshal), 151, 494. 
Clery (Valet to Louis XVI.), 372. 
Clouet (Colonel), 451. 
Colloredo (Mme. de), 331, 356, 364. 
Colonna-Ceccaldi, 412, 413. 
Colorno (Duchess de), see Marie 

Louise (Empress). 
Conde (Prince Louis II., "the 

great Conde"), 4. 
Conde (Prince Louis Joseph), 221, 

Conegliano (Due de), see Moncey. 
Consalvi (Cardinal), 154. 
Constantine XIII. (Emperor of 

Constantinople), 168. 
Corbineau (General), 139. 
Cornelisseil (Chamberlain), 124. 
Coivisart (Doctor), 206, 235,251, 

252, 275, 283, 293, 300. 
Courland (Duchess of), 361. 
Craven (Lady), 309. 
Cussy (dc, Prefect of the Palace), 

124, 206. 309. 
Czernitcheff (General), 342, 373. 


Dalberg (Due de, Prince Primate), 

121, 21 I. 
Dal brig (Due E. J. de, Nephew 

of the Prince Primate), 182, 
191, 209, 211, 241, 343, 362, 
37i, 516. 
Dalmatic (Due de), see Soult. 



Dambray, 245. 

Daru (Count Martial), 81, 109, 1 10, 

157, 457- 
Davout (Marshal, Duke of Auer- 

stadt, Prince of Eckmuhl), 71, 

73, 74. 82. 
Defermon (Count), 504. 
Dejean (General), 178, 207. 
Delzons (General), 69. 
Denmark (Frederick VI., King of), 

Desselbrune (Count), 263. 
Dessole (General), 209. 
Devillers, 448. 
Dietrichstein (Comte Maurice), 439, 

440. 5 J 7- 
Dombrowski (General), 225. 
Drouot (General), 460. 
Dubreton (General), 102. 
Duchesne de Gillevoisin, see 

Dudon, 240, 241, 242. 
Dumouriez (General), 211. 
Dupaty, 187. 
Duroc (Due de Frioul, Grand 

Marshal of the Palace), 108, 117, 


Eble (General), 84. 

Eckmuhl (Prince of), see Davout. 

Edessa (Archbishop of), 15. 

Eichstadt (Prince of), see Beau- 
harnais (Prince Eugene de). 

Enghien (Due d'), 447, 464, 474. 

Enzenberg (d', Chamber lam), 366. 

Erbeck (Baron d'), 331. 

Erlon (General Drouet d'), 494. 

Este (Maria Louise Beatrice d', 
Third Wife of Emperor Francis), 
15, 19, 20, 21, 24, 272, 273, 
275, 278, 280, 282, 290, 310, 
312, 314, 325, 354, 368, 369, 
370, 428, 432, 519. 

Esterhazy (Prince Nicolas), 281, 282. 

Esterhazy (Prince Paul), 247, 248. 

Etruria (King of), 317, 318, 385. 

Etruria (Queen of), 317, 318, 385, 

Etruria (Infant of), see Carlos (Don). 
Exelmans (General), 494. 
Exmouth (Admiral Lord), 405, 406, 

Fain (Baron), 112, 232. 

Fallot de Beaumont (Bishop of 

Piacenza), 320. 
Fauche-Borel (L.), 354. 
Fellemberg (de), 524, 525. 
Feltre (Due de), see Clarke (General). 
Ferdinand I. (King of the Two 

Sicilies, Ferdinand IV. of Naples), 

337, 399, 4°°, 4°i, 4 l6 > 4 X 9» 

420, 421. 
Ferdinand VII. (King of Spain), 

149, 150. 
Ferdinand III. (Grand-duke of 

Tuscany, and Grand-duke of 

Wiirtzburg), 16, 19, 289, 298, 

317, 326, 385. 
Ferrand (Councillor), 108, 245. 
Fesch (Cardinal), 252, 343. 
Flahaut (Count de), 259, 380, 387, 

Flaugergues, 159, 362. 
Fleurieu (de), 50. 
Fouche (Duke d'Otranto), 1 14, 1 1 5, 

132, 167, 325, 362, 381, 382, 

397, 405, 411, 415, 444, 448, 

449, 456, 461, 463, 464, 473, 

474, 475, 476. 
Fouler (General), 263. 
Franceschetti (General), 413, 419, 

420, 421. 
Francis (Archduke), 314, 330. 
Francis (Prince Imperial), see Rome 

(King of). 
Francis I. (Emperor of Austria), 

see Austria (Emperor Francis). 
Frank (Doctor), 289. 
Franzenberg (Doctor), 184. 
Frederick II. (Frederick the Great), 

Fresnel (General), 268. 
Frimont (General), 335, 346, 347. 
Frioul (Due de), see Duroc. 



Galliera (Duchess de), 371. 
Gallois, 158, 15c,. 
George III. (King of England), 427. 
George (Prince of Wales, Prince 

Regent, afterwards George IV.), 

308, 309, 477. 
Georges, see Cadoudal. 
Gillevoisin (Duchesne de), 108. 
Giulani (Marquis), 405. 
Giulay (General), 268. 
Gneisenau (General), 457. 
Goertz (General), 346. 
Gontaut (de, Chamberlain), 206. 
Gourgaud (General), 36, "jj, 469, 


Gourville, 4. 

Gouvion Saint-Cyr (Marshal), see 

Grand-duke (of Tuscany), see Fer- 
dinand III. 

Grand Equerry, see Caulaincourt 
(Due de Vicence). 

Grenier (General), 463. 

Grouchy (Marshal), 83, 452, 494. 

Gudin (General), 51, 52. 

Guerchy (de), 206. 

Guiche (Duchess de), 222. 


H (Count), 293. 

Ilager (de), 426. 

Hanover (King of), see George III. 

(King of England). 
Hapsburg (Rudolph de), 309. 
Hapsburg (the Family), 25. 
Hardegg (General Count), 313. 
Hardenberg (Prince), 19, 430. 
Harel, 442. 

Harville (General d'), 464. 
Haussonville(cl', C/iambcrlain),2o(>. 
Hauterive (Count d'), 186. 
Haxo (General), 159. 
I [erodes, 94. 
Hereau (Mine.), 309. 
Her'icy (d', Equerry), 206. 
Hertlieb, 287. 

Hesse-Darmstadt (Grand-duke of), 

19, 121. 
Hesse-Darmstadt (Grand-duchess 

of), 19. 
Hill (General), 452. 
Hohenzollern (Prince von), 441. 
Holland (Doctor), 309. 
Holland (King of), see Bonaparte 

(Prince Louis). 
Holland (Queen of), 5«?rBeauharnais 

(Queen Hortense de). 
Hrabowski (Colonel), 309,347,350. 
Hullin (General), 203. 
Hurault de Sorbee (General), 289, 

296, 302, 303, 307. 
Hurault de Sorbee (Mme.), 289, 

296, 302, 309. 


Infantado (Due de 1'), 419. 

Isabey (Artist), 121, 283, 293, 
300, 327, 346. 

Istrie (Due d'), see Bessieres. 

Italy (Viceroy of), see Beauharnais 
(Prince Eugene), or John (Arch- 

Italy (Vice-queen of), see Beau- 
harnais (Princess Eugene de). 

Jaucourt (Francois de), 2X1, 212, 

241, 245. 
Joan of Arc, 486. 
John (Archduke, Viceroy of Italy), 

374, 435- 
Joliclerc, 407. 
Josephine (Empress, First Wife of 

Napoleon), J2, 166, 208, 222, 

267, 389, 390, 4 6 4> 4 66 > 4 6 7, 

Josephine (Daughter of Prince 
Eugene), 391. 

Julia (Queen of Spain), see Bona- 
parte (Princess Joseph). 

Junot (General, Due d'Abrantes), 
4 8 > 5*i 52. 




Karacza'i (Count de), 263, 295, 

298, 457- 
Kinglin (General), 222. 
Kinski (General Count), 263, 268. 
Kirgener (General), 117. 
Koehler (General), 261, 285, 286, 

287, 288, 289.' 
Kreptovich (Count), 46. 
Kurakin (Prince), 23, 28, 29. 
Kutusoff (Marshal), 52, 53, 54, 64, 

68, 69, 75. 

La Besnardiere (de), 362, 363, 

375, 378. 
La Bouillerie (Baron de), 195, 236, 

241, 242, 243, 244. 
Lacourner (Doctor), 206. 
Lacuee de Cessac (Count), see 

La Fayette (General), 461, 462, 463. 
Laffitte, 218. 
Laine, 158, 159, 457. 
Lamarque (General), 379. 
Lambertye {Equerry), 206. 
Lambesc (Prince de, Prince of 

Lorraine), 281, 373, 375. 
Langenau (General), 375, 437. 
Langeron (de), 184. 
Lanjuinais, 457, 459. 
Lanti (Abbe), 329. 
La Rochejaquelein (Louis de), 98. 
Larrey (Doctor), 63. 
Lasalle (General), 396. 
Las Cases (Count), 390, 469. 
Lassabathie, 218. 
La Tour du Pin (de), 362. 
Lauriston (General Count de), 22, 

23, 28, 64, 68. 
Lauriston (Mme. de), 124. 
Lavalette (Count), 189, 21 1, 373, 

390, 391, 447, 472. 
Lazanski (Countess), 273, 331. 
Lebrun (Third Consul), 221. 
Lebzeltern (de), 270. 
Lecourbe (General), 442. 
Lecoulteux, 70. 

Leduc, 43. 

Leopold II. (Emperor of Germany), 

Leopoldine (Archduchess), 347. 

Lesseps (de), 63. 

Leuchtenberg (Duke of), see Beau- 
harnais (Prince Eugene de). 

Lichtenstein, see "Wenzel-Lichten- 

Lieven (Prince de, Russian Am- 
bassador), 229. 

Ligne (Prince de), 281, 313, 316, 


Lille (Comte de), see Louis XVIII. 

Lipona (Countess of), see Bonaparte 
(Princess Caroline). 

Lobau (Comte de), 1 21, 275. 

Lobau (Comtesse de), 121. 

Lorraine (Prince of), see Lambesc. 

Louis (Abbe), 209. 

Louis (Archduke), 366. 

Louis (Baron), 243, 245. 

Louis XIV. (King of France), 274, 
488, 490. 

Louis XV. (King of France), 274. 

Louis XVI. (King of France), 220, 
332, 372. 

Louis XVIII. (Louis-Stanislas- 
Xavier, Comte de Lille, King 
of France), 108, 137, 210, 212, 
219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 242, 
245, 254, 283, 306, 316, 337, 
341, 354, 36i, 363, 378, 382, 
406, 410, 413, 414, 441, 445, 
449, 457, 494, 500. 

Lowe (Sir Hudson, Governor of 
St. Helena), 472, 481. 

Lucay (Countess de), 206, 259. 

Luke (Saint), 57. 

Luynes (Duke de), 108. 


Macdonald (Marshal, Duke of 
Tarente), 101, 138, 218, 233. 

Maceroni (Colonel Francis), 415, 
416, 417, 418, 456, 457, 505, 

Magawly, 297, 299 

Mahomet II., 159. 



Maine de Biran, 159. 

Maison (General), 457. 

Maisonfort (Marquis de), 221. 

Mallet (General), 71, 86, 87, 88, 
95» 96. 

Manuel, 464. 

Marbeuf (Baron de), 49, 50. 

Marbeuf (Count de), 49, 50. 

Marbeuf (Comtesse de), 49, 50. 

Marchand, 469. 

Marchand (Mme.), 438. 

Marescalchi, 288, 289, 297. 

Maret (Duke of Bassano), 23, 35, 
36, in, 112, 115, 129, 133, 
134, 141, 156, 157, 169, 186, 
229, 257, 504. 

Maria Louisa* (Queen of'Spain), 149. 

Maria Theresa of Sicily (Empress 
of Austria, Second Wife of 
Emperor Francis), 427. 

Maria Theresa of Austria (Empress 
of Germany), 276, 284. 

Maria Theresa (Queen of France), 

Marie Antoinette (Queen of France), 
274, 276, 446. 

Marie Louise (Empress, Second 
Wife of Napoleon, Duchess of 
Parma, Duchess of Colorno), 2, 
3, 4, 5, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 
21, 22, 24, 25, 52, 79, 86,87, 
89, 90, 96, 102, 103, 106, 107, 
108, 109, 1 10, in, 112, 114, 
115, 116, 118, 120, 121, 123, 
124, 125, 132, 135, 138, 141, 
145, 148, 153, 160, 162, 163, 
164, 165, 173, 176, 186, 187, 
188, 190, 192, 194, 195, 196, 
197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 203, 
204, 206, 207, 208, 225, 226, 
227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 
233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 
239, 240, 242, 244, 245, 246, 
247, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 
254, 255, 258, 259, 260, 263, 
264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 
270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 
276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 
282, 283, 285, 286, 287, 288, 
289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 

297, 299, 300, 301, 302, 305, 

306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 

312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 

318, 319, 320, 321, 325, 326, 

327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 

333, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 

343, 344, 347, 35°, 35L 353, 

354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 

360, 361, 365, 366, 367, 368, 

369, 37o, 372, 373, 376, 380, 

382, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 

389, 392, 393, 394, 396, 398, 

425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 
431, 432, 434, 435, 436, 437, 

439, 440, 44i, 442, 443, 444, 
446, 448, 466, 467, 479, 480, 
481, 485, 495, 496, 499, 509, 
510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 
516, 517, 518, 519, 520, 521, 
522, 523, 524, 525. 

Marmier (de), 442. 

Marmont (Marshal, Due de Raguse), 
102, 173, 179, 188, 195, 196, 
199, 202, 203, 204, 207, 208, 
218, 219. 

Massa (Due de), see Regnier. 

Maubreuil (de), 496. 

Maximilian (Prince, of Saxony), 43 1 . 

Medici (Chevalier de), 488. 

Meerfeldt (General), 142. 

Meneval (Baron de), 109, 1 10, 
296, 438, 462. 

Meneval (Mme. de), 294, 295, 298, 
299, 470. 

Merlin de Douai, J58. 

Mesgrigny (de), 268. 

Mesgrigny (Mme. de), 206, 268. 

Metternich (Prince de), 19, 118, 
119, 129, 132, 133, 156, 181, 
184, 231, 235, 239, 245, 246, 
247, 248, 249, 253, 258, 298, 
299, 300, 307, 319, 325, 326, 
340, 341, 342, 347, 352, 356, 

375, 381, 398, 415, 4 l6 » 425, 

426, 436, 444, 449, 4S6, 512, 

Michaud [Printer^ 210. 
Mirabeau, 370, 458. 
Mitrowsky (Mine, dc), 370, 372, 

385, 5i7, 518. 



Mole (Count), 157, 158. 

Moncey (Marshal, Due de Coneg- 

liano), 109, 163. 
Monsieur, see Charles X. 
Montalivet (de), 174, 226. 
Montalivet (Mme. de), 206. 
Montbrun (General), 53. 
Moutebello (Duchess of), 124, 206, 

232, 267, 273, 275, 279, 283, 

293, 299, 300. 
Montenuovo (Count de), 524. 
Montesquieu, 91. 
Montesquiou (Abbe, Due de), 21 1, 

212, 221, 241, 245. 
Montesquiou (Colonel, Count 

Anatole de), 88, 187, 212,255, 

264, 343, 355, 364, 365, 367, 
387, 426. 

Montesquiou (Countess de), 124, 
206, 212, 213, 236, 237, 238, 
253, 254, 260, 268, 272, 279, 
290, 310, 329, 332, 339, 343, 
349, 355, 356, 358, 360, 363, 
3 6 4, 3 6 5, 3 6 6, 3 6 7, 3 6 9> 37i, 
380, 387, 426, 438, 517. 

Montgaillard (M. J. Rocques de), 

Montholon (General, Count de), 
16, 17, 469. 

Montholon (Mme. de), 1 7, 469, 471. 

Montrond (de), 380, 381, 382, 

394, 449- 

Moreau (General), 137, 138, 180, 

Moreau (Mme.), 137. 

Mortemart (Duke de), 187. 

Mortier (Marshal, Due de Trevise), 
69, 78, 117, 173, 195, 196, 199, 
202, 204, 207, 445, 452. 

Moskowa (Prince de la), see Ney. 

Mounier (Baron), 62, 124. 

Mounier (Mme.), 124. 

Murat (Prince Joachim, Marshal, 
King of Naples), 51, 56, 68, 83, 
88, 99, 101, 144, 163, 166, 167, 
266, 277, 336, 337, 338, 346, 
347, 348, 349, 350, 368, 395, 
396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 4°', 
402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 
408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 

414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 
420, 421, 4 22 , 434, 45 6 , 5°5» 
508, 513, 517. 

Murat (Achilles), 368, 422. 

Murat (Lsetitia), 422. 

Murat (Louise), 422. 

Murat (Lucien), 422. 

Murray (John), 229. 


Nansouty (General), 68. 

Naples (King of), see Murat (Joa- 
chim), and Ferdinand I. (King 
of the Two Sicilies). 

Naples (Queen of), see Bonaparte 
(Princess Caroline). 

Naples (Prince Royal of), see 
Murat (Achilles). 

Napoleon II. (Napoleon Francois 
Charles Joseph), see Rome-(King 

Narbonne (General, Count de), 22, 
23, 28, 29, 59, 105, 107, 126, 

Nassau (Prince of), 121, 123. 

Nassau (House of), 153. 

Neipperg (General, Count), 24, 266, 
267, 282, 291, 292, 293, 301, 
302, 305, 307, 308, 309, 310, 
319, 320, 321, 328, 330, 331, 

339, 340, 34i, 342, 347, 350, 

356, 380, 385, 396, 398, 426, 

427, 432, 480, 481, 509, 510, 

512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 

518, 519, 520, 521, 523, 524, 


Neipperg (Countess, Wife of the 
General), 432, 512. 

Neipperg (Count Leopold, Father 
of the General), 293. 

Neipperg (Countess, Mother of the 
General), 293. 

Nesselrode (de), 182, 209, 239. 

Netumieres (des), 99. 

Neufchatel (Prince de), see Berthier. 

Neufchatel (Princess de), 441. 

Ney (Marshal, Prince de la Mos- 
kowa), 48, 51, 73, 74, 75, 76, 



77, 82, 85, 86, 100, 136, 138, 

218, 233, 354. 
Noailles (Count Alexis de), 362. 
Nugent (General, Count), 282, 404. 

CEttingen (Prince d'), 145. 

Oginski (Count), 35. 

O'Meara (Doctor), 229. 

Orleans (Duke of), 445. 

Orleans (House of), 223. 

Ornano (General), 179. 

Oscar (Prince, afterwards King 

of Sweden), 391. 
Otranto (Duke d'), see Fouche. 
Otto (Count), 14, 105. 
Oudinot (Marshal, Duke of Reggio), 

52, 66, 83, 138. 
Ozanne, 81. 


Padua (Due de), 50. 

Paer (Compose?-), 282, 283. 

Parma (Infant of), see Etruria 

(King of). 
Parma (Duchess of), see Marie 

Louise (Empress). 
Parma (Prince of), see Rome (King 

Paul I. (Emperor of Russia), 66, 

Paul (Saint), 489. 
Perigord (Abbe de), see Talleyrand. 
Peter (Saint), 488^ 489. 
Peyrusse, 242. 
Pichegru (General), 138, 220, 221, 

Pierlot, 50. 
Pignatclli-Strongoli (General), 403, 

Pino (General), 266. 
Pius VII. (Pope), 15, t6, 103, 

104, 153, 332, 344, 380, 468. 
Phiisance (Mme. de), 259. 
Platow (Hetman), 76. 
Poland (King of ), see Alexander I. 

(Emperor of Russia). 

Poniatowski (Marshal Prince 

Joseph), 142, 144. 
Ponte-Corvo (Prince of), see Beau- 

harnais (Prince Eugene). 
Pope (The), see Pius VII. 
Potocki (Count), 35. 
Pradt (Abbe de, Archbishop of 

Mechlin), 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 

89, 209. 
Primate (Prince), see Dalberg 

(Prince Primate). 
Prina (Minister of Finance), 267. 
Prozor (Count), 35. 
Prussia (Frederick William III., 

King of), 19, 20, 22, 24, 101, 

156, 203, 208, 209, 230, 259, 

260, 263, 311, 315, 320, 351, 

354. 479- 
Prussia (Crown Prince of), after- 
wards King Frederick Wil- 
liam IV.), 19, 20, 24. 


Quinette (Baron), 463. 

Raguse (Due de), see Marmont 

Rainier (Archduke), 396. 
Rapp (General), 51, 52, 149. 
Raynouard, 158, 159. 
Regent (Prince), see George (Prince 

of Wales). 
Reggio (Duke de), see Oudinot 

Regnauld de Saint-Jean d'Angely 

(Count), 226, 232, 245, 491, 504. 
Rc'gnier (Due de), 157. 
Reichstadt (Duke of), see Rome 

(King of). 
Pvemusat (de), 265. 
Renn (Mile, de), 46. 
Ricard (General), 346. 
Riviere (Marquis de), 406, 407, 505. 
Rocca-Romana (Due de), 404, 407, 

Roederer, 458. 
Roguct (General), 72. 



Rome (Napoleon Francois Charles 
Joseph, King of Rome, Duke 
of Reichstadt, Prince of Parma, 
Napoleon II.) 2, 3, 13, 52, 53, 
86, 87, 96, 121, 124, 148, 153, 
155, 162, 163, 164, 191, 195, 
196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 2CI, 
204, 206, 212, 218, 225, 227, 
230, 231, 235, 236, 237, 238, 
246, 247, 248, 249, 253, 254, 
255, 260, 265, 267, 268, 269, 
272, 275, 278, 279, 280, 287, 
288, 289, 290, 295, 297, 300, 
302, 310, 311, 314, 315, 316, 
318, 325, 326, 327, 329, 330, 
340, 342, 343, 347, 351, 355, 

359. 3 6 °> 3 6 i> 3&3» 3^4, 3^5. 
366, 307, 369, 370, 373, 380, 
382, 385, 386, 387, 388, 392. 
393, 398, 406, 426, 434, 437, 
438, 439, 440, 442, 443, 448, 
449, 456, 463, 464, 479, 485, 
49S, 496, 499, 509, 5 JI > S 1 ^ 
515, 516, 5»7, 518, 519. 

Rospigliosi (General), 288. 

Rostopchin (Count), 59, 60, 65, 66. 

Roustan (Mameluke), 89. 

Rovigo (Duke de), see Savary. 

Royer (Doctor), 206. 

Rudolph (Archduke), 315. 

Russia (Emperor of), see Alexander 
I., and Paul I. 

Russia (Empress of, Elisabeth of 
Baden), 312, 331, 351. 

Russia (Empress Dowager of, 
Marie of Wurtemberg), 64. 

Russia (Grand-duchesses of), 312, 

Saint-Aignan (Baron de, Ambas- 
sador), 155, 227, 263, 268, 275. 

Saint-Aulaire (de), 226, 232, 239, 
245, 248. 

Saint-Cyr (Marshal Gouvion), 52, 
136, 142, 148, 354. 

Saint-Leu (Comte de), see Bona- 
parte (Prince Louis). 

Saint-Priest (General), 180, 181, 

Salamon, 43. 
Sandrini {Courier), 285. 
San Vitale (Count de), 297, 298, 

320, 436, 524. 
Sapieta (Prince Alexander), 35. 
Sardinia (Victor Emmanuel, King 

of), 402, 510. 
Saulnier, 509. 
Saurau (Count), 346. 
Savary (General, Duke de Rovigo), 

469, 471. 
Saxony (Augustus I., King of), 

19, 89, in, 112, 136, 142, 

143, 144, 323, 324, 334, 352, 

430, 431. 

Saxony (Marie Amelie, Queen of), 
19, 142, 143. 

Saxony (Prince Anthony of), 430. 

Saxony (Dukes of), 324. 

Scarampi (de), 370. 

Schopff, 287. 

Schouwaloff (General, Count), 227, 
230, 242, 252, 259, 261, 286. 

Schwarzenberg (Field-marshal, 

Prince), 52, 83, 101, III, 112, 
119, 136, 142, 148, 161, [70, 
171, 173, 176, 181, 188, 189, 
203, 207, 209, 233, 235, 245, 
247, 254, 351, 369, 373, 375, 

431, 436. 

Scguier (President), 17. 

Segur (Count de), 36, 191, 446. 

Segur (General Philip de), 27, 98. 

Semonville {Senator), 16. 

Senft de Pilsach (Baron), 161. 

Serra {Ambassador), 89. 

Seyssel (de), 206. 

Sicily (King of), see Ferdinand I 

(King of the Two Sicilies). 
Sicily (Maria Caroline, Queen of), 

276, 277, 278, 307, 348. 
Sickingcn (Count), 365. 
Sierakowski (Count), 35. 
Sieyes, 458, 459. 
Sniadecki, 35. 
Soltan (Count), 35. 
Soufflot (Mme.), 268. 
Soulange Bodin, 373. 



Soult (Marshal, Due de Dalmatic), 
102, 113, 117, 151, 152, 245, 

354. 453- 
Spain (King of), see Bonaparte 

(Prince Joseph), and Charles IV., 

and Ferdinand VII. 
Spain (Queen of), see Maria Louisa 

(Queen of Spain), and Bonaparte 

(Princess Joseph). 
Spontini {Composer), 283. 
Stadion (Count de), 119, 182. 
Stael (de), 450. 
Stael (Mme. de), 450. 
Stassart (Baron de), 380, 381, 427, 


Stewart (Lord Alexander), 321. 

Stipsicz (General), 437. 

Suchet (Marshal, Duke of Albu- 
fera), 102, 150. 

Survilliers (Count de), see Bona- 
parte (Prince Joseph). 

Sweden (Prince Royal of), see 
Bernadotte (General). 


Taffe (Count), 263. 

Talhouet (Mme. de), 124. 

Talleyrand (Charles Maurice de, 
Prince de Benevent, Abbe de 
Perigord), 45, 108, 141, 182, 
191, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 
212, 213, 239, 241, 243, 265, 
266, 333, 336, 350, 352, 361, 
362, 363, 307, 374, 375, 376, 
377, 378, 379, 382, 384, 387, 
394, 401, 426, 447, 448, 475, 
476, 496. 

Tantalus, 43. 

Lin nte (Duke of), see Macdonald 

Tchitchakow (Admiral), 83. 

Thcmistoclcs, 328. 

Trautmansdorff (Count), 258, 272. 

Trentacapelli (Colonel), 419, 420. 
(Due de), see Mortier 

Tronchin, 378. 

Truchess-Waldbourg (Count), 261. 

Turenne (de), 257. 

Tuscany (Grand-duke of), see Fer- 
dinand III. 

Tuscany (Grand-duchess of), see 
Bonaparte (Princess Elisa). 

Tuscany (Prince Frederic of), 369. 

Tuscany (Princess Elisa of), 369. 

Tutolmine (General), 02. 

Tysenhaus (Count), 35. 

Valence (General), 362. 

Vandamme (General), 139, 353. 

Varro, 97. 

Vaulgrenand (Chamberlain), 124. 

Venus, 345, 346. 

Vicence (Duke de), see Caulain- 
court (Grand Equerry). 

Vicence (Duchess de), see Canisy 

Viceroy of Italy, see Beauharnais 
(Prince Eugene). 

Vice-queen of Italy, see Beauhar- 
nais (Princess Eugene). 

Victor (Marshal, Duke de Bellune), 
66, 83. 

Vienna (Archbishop of), 281,332, 

Villebranche (de), 72. 
Villoutrey (Major), 451. 
Vincent (General, Baron de), 370, 

386, 387, 441. 
Visconti (Mme.), 42. 
Vitrolles (de), 190. 


Wagrara (Prince of), see Bcrthicr. 
Wagram (Princess of), 121. 
Waldsee (Prince de), 270. 
Wales (Prince of), see George 

(Prince Regent). 
Wales (Princess of), 307, 308, 368. 
Wartemberg (Count de), 266. 
Washington (George, President of 

U. S. A.), 463. 
Wellington (Duke of), 149, 342, 

349, 352, 353, 415, 45 2 , 456. 
Wenzel-Lichtenstein (Prince), 172, 
247, 248. 



Werner (Abbe), 331. 

Werner, 381, 449. 

Wessemberg (Baron de), 189, 190, 

340, 426. 
Westphalia (King of), see Bona- 
parte (Prince Jerome). 
Westphalia (Queen of), see Wur- 

temberg (Princess Catherine of). 
Wilson (General Sir Robert), 100, 

400, 403, 472. 
Wolkonski (Prince), 65, 68. 
Wonsowich (Count), 89. 
Wrbna (Count Eugene), 263, 363, 

365, 366. 
Wrede (General, Prince de), 141, 

144, 145, 381. 
Wroleck (General), 259. 
Wurtemberg (Frederic I., King 

of), 19, I53» 2 3Q> 250, 251, 311. 
Wurtemberg (Prince Royal of), 

36, 250, 251. 

Wurtemberg (Princess Royal of), 

291. . 
Wurtemberg (Princess Catherine 

of, Queen of Westphalia), 19, 

153, 207, 237. 
Wiirtzburg (Grand-duke of), see 

Ferdinand III. 


York (Buke of), 101, 187. 
Yvan (Doctor), 82, 256, 257. 


Zayonchek (General), 225. 
Zegelius (Abbe), 349. 
Zinzendorf (Count), 280. 
Zoilus, 1 1 . 
Zurlo, 348. 



Answer of Marie Louise to the 

Address of the National Guard, 

Answer of Napoleon to the Address 

of the Polish Deputies, 487. 
Beobachter, Newspaper inspired by 

Metternich, 352. 
Considerations on the Causes of 

the Greatness and Decline of the 

Romans, by Montesquieu, 91. 
Constitutionnel (Le), 379. 
Critical Examination of the Count 

de Segur's Work, by General 

Gourgaud, 36. 
Cunegonde, Tragedy by Abbe 

Werner, 331. 
Declaration of the Allies, of March 

13th, 1815, 357. 
Declaration of Clergy, drawn up 

by Bossuet, 488. 
Essai de Morale et de Politique, 

by Count Mole, 157. 
Etats (Les) de Blois, Tragedy by 

Raynouard, 159. 
Gardons-la bien, Song by Dupaty, 

History of the Embassy to Warsaw, 

by Abbe de Pradt, 34. 
II est parti, Song by Dupaty, 187. 
Interesting Facts Relating to the 

Fall and Death of Joachim Murat, 

King of Naples, by Colonel 

Francis Maceroni, 415. 
Letters from General Bertrand to 

Baron de Meneval, 285 to 289. 
Letter from Count Daru to Baron 

de Meneval, 109. 
Letter from King Joachim to Queen 

Caroline, 422. 
Letter from King Joachim to 

Captain Macirone, 505. 
Letters from King Joseph to 

Napoleon, 167, 173,174,176,185. 
Letter from King Joseph to Baron 

de Meneval, 462. 
Letter from La Fayette to Baron 

de Meneval, 462. 
Letter from Marie Louise to Madame 

Bonaparte, 25. 
Letters from Marie Louise to Baron 

de Meneval, 112, 125, 135, 138, 

164, 187, 294 to 300. 
Letters from Meneval to the Duke 

de Vicence, 383 to 389. 
Letter from Metternich to Marie 

Louise, 245. 
Letter from Metternich to the Duke 

de Vicence, 248. 
Letter from Napoleon to Camba- 

cer£s, 123. 



Letters from Napoleon to King 
Joseph, 166, 167, 170, 173, 174, 
176, 179 to 181, 185, 186, 

195, 303- 
Letter from Napoleon to M. de 

Marbeuf, 50. 
Letters from Napoleon to Marie 

Louise, 114, 115, 141, 145. 
Letters from Napoleon to Meneval, 

192, 234 to 236, 244, 248, 

251, 260, 
Letter from Napoleon to Mortier,78. 
Memoirs of Napoleon I., 92, 93, 94. 
Minute approved by Louis XVIIL, 

sequestrating the Estates of the 

Napoleon Family, 245. 
Moniteur (Le), 12, 10 1, 1 1 6, 120, 

141, 145. 
Official Gazette of Vienna, 335, 

367, 395, 4 2 7. 
Official Journal, 434. 
Preface to the Notice on General 

Neipperg, 509. 
Report of Commission of State 

on the Declaration of the Con- 
gress of Vienna, 491. 
Revue Britannique (La), 509. 
Templiers (Les) Tragedy by Ray- 

nouard, 158, 159. 
Vienna Gazette. See Beobachter. 




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.**. TUILERIES. By Madame Carette, Lady-of-Honor to the 
Empress Eugenie. Translated from the French by Elizabeth 
Phipps Train. i2mo. Cloth, $1.00 ; paper cover. 50 cents. 

"A gossiping and very interesting account of the Second Empire. The narrative 
has to do mainly with the social life of the court, and yet it offers many a glimpse of 
the larger world of politics. Its sprightly style, its keen insight into social character, 
and its bright comments on men and events, make the book very readable." — The Critic. 

"The many surviving Americans who were presented at the French court during 
the last Empire, and are still fondly cherishing the memory of things as they were, will 
be delighted with this little book. According to Mme. Carette, things in the days of 
the third Napoleon were about as they should be in France, especially at court, and 
the narrative is written with a simplicity and sincerity which disarm criticism." — New 
York Herald. 


1V1 1 802-1 808. Edited by her Grandson, Paul DE Remusat, 
Senator. 3 volumes, crown 8vo. Half bound, $2.25. 

" Notwithstanding the enormous library of works relating to Napoleon, we know 
of none which cover precisely the ground of these Memoirs. Madame de Remusat 
was not only lady-in-waiting to Josephine during the eventful years 1802-1808, but 
was her intimate friend and trusted confidante. Thus we get a view of the daily life 
of Bonaparte and his wife, and the terms on which they lived, not elsewhere to be 
found."— N. Y. Mail. 

" These Memoirs are not only a repository of anecdotes and of portraits sketched 
from life by a keen eyed, quick-witted woman ; some of the author's reflections on social 
and political questions are remarkable for weight and penetration." — New York Sun. 


MADAME DE REM USA T. 1804-1814. Edited by her 
Grandson, Paul de Remusat, Senator. i2mo. Cloth, $1.25. 

" These letters have the character of intimate correspondence, and though they do 
not avoid public events, are not devoted to them. They depict the social aspect of the 
times, and form an excellent background against which to review the public events 
which form the principal subject of the previous Memoirs by the same author." — The 

" A most attractive volume. The letters will be read by those who have perused the 
Memoirs with as much pleasure as by those who in them make the writer's acquaintance 
for the first time."— N. Y. Herald. 

ll/TEMOIRS OF NAPOLEON, his Court and Family. 
I V* By the Duchess d'Abrantes. In 2 volumes, i2mo. Cloth, 

The interest excited in the first Napoleon and his court by the " Memoirs of 
Madame de R6musat," induced the publishers to issue the famous " Memoirs of the 
Duchess d'Abrantes," which had previously appeared in a costly octavo edition, in a 
much cheaper form, and in a style to correspond with the De R6musat. This work 
presents a much more favorable portrait of the great Corsican than that limned by 
Madame de R6musat, and supplies many valuable and interesting details respecting 
the court and family of Napoleon which are found in no other work. 


New York : D. APPLETON & CO., 72 Fifth Avenue. 



FRIEND OF THE QUEEN. (Marie Antoinette 
—Count de Fersen.) By Paul Gaulot. With Two Por- 
traits. i2mo. Cloth, $2.00. 

" M. Gaulot deserves thanks for presenting the personal history of Count Fersen 
in a manner so evidently candid and unbiased." — Philadelphia Bulletin. 

" There are some characters in history of whom we never seem to grow tired Of 
no one is this so much the case as of the beautiful Marie Antoinette, and of that life 
which is at once so eventful and so tragic. ... In this work we have much that up 
to the present time has been only vaguely known." — Philadelphia Press. 

" A historical volume that will be eagerly read." — New York Observer. 

" One of those captivating recitals of the romance of truth which are the gilding of 
the pill of history." — London Daily News. 

"It tells with new and authentic details the romantic story of Count Fersen's (the 
friend of the Queen) devotion to Marie Antoinette, of hb share in the celebrated flight 
to Varennes, and in many other well-known episodes of the unhappy Queen's life." — 
London Times. 

" If the book had no more recommendation than the mere fact that Marie Antoinette 
and Count Fersen are rescued at last from the voluminous and contradictory repre- 
sentations with which the literature of that period abounds, it would be enough com- 
pensation to any reader to become acquainted with the true delineations of two of the 
most romantically tragic personalities." — Boston Globe. 

"One of the most interesting volumes of recent publication, and sure to find its place 
among the most noteworthy of historical novels." — Bos.'on Times. 


II, of Russia. By K. Waliszewski. With Portrait. i2mo. 
Cloth, $2.00. 

" Of Catharine's marvelous career we have in this volume a sympathetic, learned, 
and picturesque narrative. No royal career, not even of some of the Roman or papal 
ones, has better shown us how truth can be stranger than fiction." — New York Times. 

" A striking and able work, deserving of the highest praise." — Philadelphia Ledger. 

" The book is well called a romance, for, although no legends are admitted in it. 
and the author has been at pains to present nothing but verified facts, the actual career 
of the subject was so abnormal and sensational as to seem to belong to fiction." — New 
York Sun. 

"A dignified, handsome, indeed superb volume, and well worth careful reading." 
— Chicago Herald. 

" It is a most wonderful story, charmingly told, with new material to sustain it, and 
a breadth and temperance and consideration that go far to soften one's estimate of one 
of the most extraordinary women of history." — New York Commercial Advertiser. 

" A romance in which fiction finds no place ; a charming narrative wherein the 
author fearlessly presents the results of what has been obviously a thorough and im- 
partial investigation." — Philadelphia Press. 

" The book makes the best of reading, because it is written without fear or favor. 
. . . The volume is exceedingly suggestive, and gives to the general reader a plain, 
blunt, strong, and somewhat prejudiced but still healthy view of one of the greatest 
women of whom history bears record."— New York Herald. 

" The perusal of such a book can not fail to add to that breadth of view which is 
so essential to the student of universal history." — Philadelphia Bulletin. 

New York : D. APPLETON & CO., 72 Fifth Avenuo. 







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